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Wednesday, 24 November 2010
Page: 3557


Mrs MIRABELLA (9:44 AM) —The Opposition has no objections to the National Measurement Amendment Bill 2010. Essentially the changes to which the bill seeks to give expression are uncontroversial. They are a range of minor corrections in the application of the National Measurement Act as it relates to the new trade measurement system. Ideally, these changes should have been introduced prior to the operation of the new national system on 1 July this year, but I do acknowledge that, as can often be the case in the political world, the government was pre-occupied with some other pressing party-political issues at the time that were consuming its immediate attention.

The current legislation assigns responsibility for a large number of technical decisions to the minister that need not be referred to him and which are of course more practically assigned to the Chief Metrologist at the National Measurement Institute. It is appropriate that the government seeks to clarify some definitions and regulations and it is also clear that a number of offence provisions need to be altered. Of course, the decision to create a national trade measurement system was made during the years of the Howard government, and we in the opposition support the continued development and evolution of the system. The coalition is happy to vote in favour of the bill and to assist the government in ensuring that all of the unintended consequences, outlined in greater detail elsewhere, are remedied.