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Wednesday, 31 August 1994
Page: 649


Senator O'CHEE (12.13 p.m.) —Returning to the issue of presumed yield, I take this opportunity to raise a concern in relation to possible regulations to give effect to this. The parliamentary secretary may be interested in this matter because I am sure that, if the Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances finds difficulty with any regulations to give effect to presumed yield, the correspondence will end up on the desk of the parliamentary secretary. As deputy chairman of the committee, I flag with the parliamentary secretary the fact that the committee does have scope to disallow a regulation if the regulation has effect in such a way that it could unfairly discriminate against somebody in the plying of his trade or profession. Concerns have been raised on this head in a number of other cases in different portfolios.

  The point I raise with the parliamentary secretary is this: it could quite foreseeably be the case that there is an assessment of presumed yield but a grower in a particular area disagrees with that assessment of presumed yield on the basis that his soil is not as fertile and he is unlikely to reach that sort of yield. It seems to me that it would be very difficult to draw regulations to give effect to presumed yield and at the same time meet those concerns. If those concerns are not met, if it is assumed there is a particular presumed yield which will apply across an entire area, it could well be that the regulation could be challenged on the basis that it could unfairly discriminate against people in the carrying out of their trade as growers. I seek the parliamentary secretary's advice as to how he thinks regulations can be drawn so as to give effect to this which would not fall foul of the regulations and ordinances committee.