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Wednesday, 4 May 1994
Page: 243


Senator SHERRY (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy) (6.43 p.m.) —Firstly, I thank the three speakers—Senator Woodley, Senator Tambling and Senator Brownhill—for their contributions to this debate on the Primary Industries and Energy Legislation Amendment Bill. All three senators—I certainly acknowledge Senator Tambling and Senator Brownhill, in particular—with their interest in the quarantine area have made major contributions in debate on the various aspects of quarantine, particularly the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, both here and at various Senate committees.

  I am not making light of the episode, but I was not aware of the particular matter regarding goats that Senator Tambling referred to. I have to say that I, as parliamentary secretary to Mr Crean and Senator Collins, have had numerous pieces of correspondence across my desk about various aspects of quarantine matters, probably more than anything else, I suspect.


Senator Brownhill —And you responded reasonably well.


Senator SHERRY —I thank the honourable senator. I had not heard the goat story in detail, although I have heard of many other matters. As has been pointed out by the opposition speakers and the Australian Democrats spokesperson, they are supporting this legislation.

  Senator Brownhill referred to a couple of amendments: they are very minor and technical in nature. Those two amendments will be moved in the other place; I will not be moving them in the Senate. The first amendment relates to proposed new section 16AD, which contains no reference to a request for additional information being given to the agent of the importer. I understand that an amendment has been drafted to deal with that matter. Secondly, there is reference to `the principal quarantine officer in the State', but it does not provide for the territories. I am sure that Senator Tambling is particularly keen for us to acknowledge the territories in this legislation. I understand that Senator Bell wishes to speak for two minutes, so with those comments I will conclude my remarks.