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Tuesday, 23 October 1956


Mr OSBORNE (EVANS, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Customs and Excise) - L think I can answer the honorable member's question in the affirmative. The export of birds and animals from Australia raises difficult problems, because it requires careful control. It is one of those matters in which the States have one part of the authority and i he Commonwealth has the other part, and it is a situation with which honorable members are familiar. It is the duty of the State' to protect their birds and animals while the Commonwealth has the responsibility of controlling the conditions under which they are exported, lt used to be the practice for the Commonwealth to permit the export of birds and animals only if the State from which they were to be exported gave a permit for their export. That was found to be unsatisfactory, because birds were being bred or trapped in one State, taken to another State and exported from there. The matter is complicated by the fact that some birds and animals which are rare in one State are pests in other States. 1 recently laid it down that no bird or animal was to be exported from Australia unless the Chief Secretary or other appropriate authority of the State in which it was bred or trapped gave a certificate that it could be exported. That arrangement gives State officials an opportunity to say whether a bird or animal is rare and should be protected, or whether it need not be protected. I think the Commonwealth discharges its obligations to the States in that way. We impose rigid regulations regarding the physical conditions .under which birds or animals may be exported. They relate to the sizes of the cages, the padding and matters of that sort. I hope that this new arrangement will work satisfactorily.







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