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Government uses numbers to block accountability measures.



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Media Release SENATOR KERRY O’BRIEN SHADOW MINISTER FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRIES, FISHERIES AND FORESTRY GOVERNMENT USES NUMBERS TO BLOCK ACCOUNTABILITY MEASURES Shadow Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Forestry Kerry O'Brien was surprised to find the Government opposed a Labor amendment which would have improved accountability of a proposed new forestry marketing and research company. "Today I moved an amendment to the Forestry Marketing and Research and Development Services Bill 2007 (The Bill). "The Bill establishes an industry services company (company) to promote research and development as well and marketing and promotion for the Australian forest industry. “Labor fully supports the aims and activities of the new company. “Labor's amendment would have provided a level of accountability back to Parliament that the tax payers of Australia would expect. “Labor's amendment would have required the company to provide an annual report to the relevant Government Minister, and through the Minister to Parliament. Senator O'Brien was surprised the Government used its numbers in the Senate to block this accountability measure. “The Government supported an almost identical Labor amendment to the Dairy Produce Act 1986 in March 2003 when Dairy Australia was established. “The only relevant matter that has changed since then is that the Government has gained control of the Senate. “As a result of the Government’s failure to accept proper accountability and governance measures the forest industry and taxpayers have been left exposed,” said Senator O’Brien. 15 June 2007 Contact: Senator Kerry O’Brien 0419 007 780 Martin Breen 0402 435 624