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Monday, 25 October 2010
Page: 680

Senator LUDWIG (Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) (8:00 PM) —I thank Senator Colbeck for his contribution during the second reading debate. The new national system is one substantial outcome of the government’s business regulation reform agenda. The advent of the new national system has removed the previous inconsistency in trade measurements. It will reduce costs to companies operating nationally and will allow Australia to adopt new technologies and processes that will assist it in making our industry compete better internationally. This is clearly an outcome that all sides agree with and will applaud.

From the industry, I am pleased to report, the response has been extremely positive. ACCORD, which is the Australasian peak industry group for the consumer, cosmetic and hygiene products sector, for example, stated in a recent press release that the new national system will address the longstanding problem business has faced in having to deal with separate and often inconsistent requirements of state and territory legislation. It will introduce greater clarity for industry and assist Australia’s trade position by introducing an average quantity system.

In summary and in conclusion, the National Measurement Amendment Bill 2010 will bring legislative certainty on the application of strict liability offences and will assist in making greater efficiencies possible in the operation of the new national system of trade measurement. With those words I commend the bill to the Senate.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.