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Tuesday, 17 March 1987
Page: 982

(Question No. 5001)

Mr Hunt asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 17 February 1987:

(1) What will be the costs to the pork industry of establishing and operating the (a) Australian Pork Corporation (b) Australian Pig Industry Policy Council and (c) the Australian Pork Corporation Selection Committee.

(2) What consultations have been held between the Government and the Darling Downs Co-operative Bacon Association Limited over the development and operation of these bodies.

(3) Is the Association the largest processor of pig meats in Queensland.

(4) Is it a fact that a majority of Australian pig meat processing organisations are not represented on the National Meat Processors' Association.

(5) What steps will he take to ensure that companies such as the Darling Downs Association have a voice in the new industry bodies.

Mr Kerin —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) It is not anticipated that there will be any significant costs to the pork industry in establishing the three industry bodies to which the honourable member refers. The main costs will be associated with the establishment of the Australian Pork Corporation (APC). This will include some travelling on the part of members of the APC Selection Committee, some advertising of vacancies and travel costs for applicants to be interviewed.

In respect of operating costs of the Selection Committee I would point out that after the initial appointments to the APC are made the Selection Committee will meet only on an ad hoc basis as vacancies occur on the Corporation and that costs, therefore, should be minimal.

The costs of operating the APC will depend upon the scope of the activities in which it chooses to become involved. The APC will take over the establishment and functions of the existing Pork Promotion Committee. It will have wider powers in respect of participation in domestic and export marketing schemes but will not trade itself.

The APC will be required to prepare a corporate plan covering three to five years and operational plans and to consult with major industry organisations in the preparation of those plans. In addition the legislation provides that before the APC recommends any increase in the pig slaughter levy to the Minister it must consult with both the Australian Pork Producers' Federation (APPF) and the National Meat Processors' Association (NMPA). If, after consulting with these bodies the APC decides to ask the Minister for a levy increase, the APC is required to indicate in its request, the bodies it has consulted and to set out in detail the views of those bodies on the proposed increase.

The operating costs of the Australian Pig Industry Policy Council (APIPC) will be met by the APC from slaughter levy funds. The annual costs of the Policy Council are difficult to estimate at this time but will relate to the investigations and reports sought of it by the industry or by the Government.

(2) Early on in this exercise an officer of my Department held discussions with leading figures in the pig industry on the matters raised by the APPF. Included in these discussions was the General Manager of the Darling Downs Co-operative Bacon Association Limited.

(3) I understand that the Darling Downs Co-operative Bacon Association Limited would be one of the largest processors of pigmeat in Queensland.

(4) I am aware that not all pigmeat processors are members of the National Meat Processors' Association. I am not aware, however, of any other body that would better represent the interests of pig meat processors in Australia. The selection of bodies to serve on the APIPC and the APC Selection Committee was made only after consultation with industry.

(5) The legislation does not provide for direct representation of individual companies such as the Darling Downs Bacon Co-operative Association Limited on the new industry bodies.

The Australian Pork Corporation is to be made up of seven members, an independent Chairperson, a Government member and five members selected for their knowledge and expertise in

(a) the production of pigs

(b) the production or processing of pork

(c) product promotion or

(d) marketing, business management or finance.

These five members are to be selected by the APC Selection Committee.

The APC Selection Committee consists of a Presiding member, Dr Kevin Foley, two members nominated by the Australian Pork Producers' Federation, Messrs Bryce Bell and Noel Maughan, and one member nominated by the National Meat Processors' Association Mr Mogens Jensen.

Members of the Darling Downs Co-operative Bacon Association Limited are free to be nominated or to put themselves forward for selection. Alternatively they may nominate any persons they consider suitable for appointment. The final nominations of the Selection Committee, must be made on the basis of the criteria and not on membership or otherwise of particular bodies or companies.

The Australian Pig Industry Policy Council is to be made up of

an independent Chairperson

the Chairperson of the APC

the President and Senior Vice-President of the APPF

the Chairman of the National Smallgoods Council

the Chairperson of the Pig Research Council

the President of the Stockfeed Manufacturers' Association of Australia; and

the President of the NMPA.

In the event it becomes apparent that other industry bodies should be represented on the APIPC the legislation provides a procedure whereby representatives can be made members of the Council.