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Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Page: 3383


Mr COMBET (CharltonMinister for Industry and Innovation and Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency) (11:27): I thank all of the members for their contributions to the debate on this amendment bill concerning national measurements. The government is very pleased with the progress of the national system of trade measurement since it came into operation in July 2010. Obviously, that was an important and common-sense reform, because moving from eight trade measurement systems to one national system is an important business regulation reform. It makes it simpler for business and more straightforward and sound for consumers.

The advent of the new national system has removed the previous inconsistencies in trade measurement and has reduced costs to companies operating nationally. The National Measurement Amendment Bill 2013 will amend the National Measurement Act 1960 in order to correct some minor issues identified since the commencement of the trade measurement provisions under the Commonwealth legislation, so that the bill, as we have heard in a number of the contributions and in the second reading speech that I gave in introducing the bill, will facilitate the work of trade measurement inspectors in dealing with cases of noncompliance with the act. It will clarify the controls an inspector can use to ensure that businesses do comply with the act and its regulations and how the inspector can go about determining whether a business is compliant or not, under the act. There will in fact be greater flexibility in allowing businesses to resolve minor infringements in a reasonable time frame, which addresses the concerns raised by some of the previous speakers on the other side. This will especially benefit remote communities with few retail outlets, without detriment to consumers. It allows more flexibility in the sorts of constituencies that the previous speaker was referring to.

The bill will also amend several minor or technical definitions of the act so as to clarify its interpretation and streamline the operation of some of its provisions. In summary, the National Measurement Amendment Bill 2013 brings legislative certainty to aspects of the trade measurement inspector's role. It will increase the effectiveness of the operation of the national system of trade measurement and its flexibility. I commend the bill to the chamber.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

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