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New Code of Conduct promises fresh start for fruit and vegetable wholesale sector.



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The Hon John Anderson MP Acting Prime Minister Minister for Transport and Regional Services

New Code of Conduct Promises Fresh Start for Fruit and Vegetable Wholesale Sector

A4/2005 18th January 2005

The Australian Government is taking the first step to implement its election commitment of a code of conduct on trading relationships at wholesale fruit and vegetable markets, the Acting Prime Minister, John Anderson, said today.

During the election campaign, Mr Anderson promised that within 100 days of the Government being re-elected, it would take action and that commitment has been met.

This week, the Government is formally notifying key stakeholders, such as industry associations, of the proposed mandatory horticulture code of conduct.

“The Government’s commitment to a mandatory code will help improve the day-to-day business relationships between fruit and vegetable growers and buyers,” Mr Anderson said.

“It will provide greater certainty and transparency to the transactions that take place at wholesale markets.

“The code, which is being established under the provisions of the Trade Practices Act, will deliver significant improvements in market performance by building on the commercial relationships at Australia’s wholesale markets.

“It will be developed and implemented in close consultation with industry. We will take every step needed to limit compliance costs.”

Mr Anderson said the process would adhere to Australian Government guidelines for developing mandatory codes of conduct, including a regulation impact statement.

There are seven steps in the implementation of the horticulture code of conduct:

• Early notification to key stakeholders • Draft Regulation Impact Statement • Comprehensive consultation

• Final regulation impact statement • Making regulations • Notification of when code comes into effect • Review

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More information on the guidelines can be found at: http://www.consumersonline.gov.au/content/SelfRegulation/codes/default.asp

“The code will be subject to review at least every five years, to determine its effectiveness and the ongoing need for a code.

“The Government will continue to work closely with the horticulture industry and wholesalers to achieve the best possible outcome for all parties,” Mr Anderson said.

Media contact: Paul Chamberlin 02 62777680 / 0419 233989