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Thursday, 10 May 2012
Page: 4637

Mr SIDEBOTTOM (BraddonParliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) (10:48): Thanks, Mr Deputy Speaker Windsor, and congratulations on your appointment to the chair. I cannot think of anyone better to be in the chair whilst we discuss and summarise the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2012. I would like to thank my colleagues in the House—the members for Calare, Lyons, Gippsland and Murray, all good regional and rural representatives—for supporting this legislation and being so positive about it. I do note the comments by the member for Gippsland in relation to fishing and labelling and I also note the comments on rural concessional loans by the member for Murray. This amendment bill tackles the issue of reducing red tape and improving legislative clarity. It is an example of the government working with industry, as all members who have spoken have testified to, for more practical and effective regulation. It responds to industry requests for reform of regulation and it streamlines administrative practices. For example—you would probably be interested, Mr Deputy Speaker—it amends the Label Integrity Program to address concerns raised by retailers and wholesalers that record-keeping requirements are problematic. In response, it amends the definition of 'vintage' to address concerns raised by some wine producers who harvest their grapes later than the normal harvest period.

Amendments to the fisheries legislation will simplify administration for business. They will also ensure that, when it is necessary for the Australian Fisheries Management Authority to issue directions to close a fishery, for example, the requirements are clear to fishers.

Amendments to levies legislation will result in improved response times for our industry levy payers when they submit requests for the remission of late levy penalties.

The portfolio continues to identify redundant legislation for removal from the statute books. The repeal of the States Grants (War Service Land Settlement) Act 1952 is a further example of the portfolio's efforts towards deregulation—and I note, in particular, the member for Murray's comments about the war service land settlements and the significant contribution that they have made to the development of agriculture and the Australian economy.

Importantly, the bill provides a cost-effective opportunity to clean up, so to speak, portfolio legislation. The various technical amendments will improve readability, update references and remove redundant text, resulting in clear legislation. After all, isn't this the very aim of good legislation? I thank all those responsible for giving effect to this amendment bill.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

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