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Thursday, 18 October 1984
Page: 2018

Senator GRIMES (Minister for Social Security)(9.08) —I hope Senator Peter Rae feels better now that he has got all that off his chest. I well remember the honey. We all remember honey in this place. The only trouble is that meat ain't honey and honey ain't meat.

Senator Boswell —That is about all you know about it.

Senator GRIMES —I will tell the honourable senator something he does not know in a minute; he should just hold on. The inspection of meat is essential to its export, as Senator Rae knows, whereas the inspection of honey was not. It is the Government's policy to have a uniform inspection service. We have made progress along that line in New South Wales and Victoria. I pointed out in the second reading speech that the cost of extra meat inspectors, the 111 of them or whatever the figure is, is not added to the costs here. I correct something that Senator Boswell, I think, said. The United States recovers the costs incurred in providing an export inspection service when those services exceed the basic services provided by mandatory inspection for domestic consumption, but the costs are not so great in the United States. That country has a relatively low level of exports. There are charges for meat inspection in Argentina, Ireland, the United Kingdom, West Germany, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and Japan. There are even some minor charges in New Zealand. So let us not hear this story that no other country makes export charges of this type. Other countries do. I just say that we reject the amendment and we had better put it to the vote before someone starts making comparisons with cut flowers.