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Thursday, 26 June 2003
Page: 17836


Ms WORTH (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing) (12:04 PM) —On behalf of Minister Truss, who was unable to be in the Main Committee this morning to sum up on the Export Control Amendment Bill 2003, I thank the member for Hunter and the member for Blair for their contributions. I thought the member for Blair provided a very good example, which perhaps the member for Hunter should take note of. The member for Blair thoroughly researched the legislation and did himself credit in the way in which he spoke to this legislation.

I can inform the member for Blair that this bill does not extend to the territory of Norfolk Island, but I am sure the officials who are sitting behind me this morning will take note of what he has asked and will look into it further. Having been there as a tourist some time before coming into parliament, I think there is no doubt about the fact that their main export is in tourism, and they do it very well indeed. They have a unique system of government, which we would need to take account of in any amendments we made to our own legislation.

Perhaps I should say a few things for the benefit of the member for Hunter, to tell him what this bill is really all about. As I said, the member for Blair showed him up. This bill will amend the Export Control Act 1982 to allow certificates issued in relation to goods for export to describe goods that originate from Christmas Island or from the Cocos (Keeling) Islands—known as the territories—as goods from those territories. It will also redraft part of subsection 11Q(5) as a consequence of the repeal of section 16 of the act by the Criminal Code Amendment (Theft, Fraud, Bribery and Related Offences) Act 2000.

The amendment proposed by this bill to section 23 of the act will introduce certification arrangements that will pave the way for the extension of the act of the territories by regulation under section 4A of the act. Extending the act to the territories is in accordance with the government's policy to align the legislation and programs in the territories whenever possible with those of mainland Australia. Importantly, the amendments take into account the significant differences in the pest and disease status between the territories and the rest of Australia by ensuring that, once the act is extended to the territories, certificates issued in relation to goods for export will be able to identify whether the goods are exports from the territories or from the rest of Australia. The amendment to section 11Q of the act will remove a reference to a repealed offence provision and replace it with a reference to the relevant offence provisions in the Criminal Code. I commend the bill to the chamber.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Ordered that the bill be reported to the House without amendment.