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Coalition offers a better way for meat inspection



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DEPUTY LEADER, NATIONAL PARTY OE AUSTRALIA SH A D O W M IN ISTER FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRY C O M M O N W E A L T H

PA R LIA M EN TA R Y LIBRARY MiCAH

COALITION OFFERS A BETTER WAY FOR MEAT INSPECTION

A Coalition Government will reduce all export inspection costs, particularly for meat, according to National Party Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister for Primary Industry, Bruce Lloyd.

Mr Lloyd, while debating amendments to the Export Control Act in

Parliament today, said making abattoirs responsible for their own quality control and encouraging them to employ their own Government-trained inspectors, would result in improvements for all those involved.

"The whole system needs changing, and this is not just the view of the Opposition and abattoir owners but of the whole meat industry including the chairman of the Australian Meat and Livestock Corporation, Dick Austen.

"The aim should be for abattoirs to employ their own quality control people. These should be Government qualified meat inspectors and most of them would be the same people that are employed by the Australian

Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) today."

He said this would result in:­

. Better paid inspectors with a more responsible job as a company quality controller. At the moment the abattoirs pay $65,000 but inspectors only get $30,000. The rest is lost to bureaucracy.

. A reduction in costs to abattoirs and beef producers resulting in a more competitive product for overseas markets.

. More exports which would improve export income and a lower overseas debt.

Mr Lloyd said the Opposition has been saying for some time now that industry should be responsible for its own inspection with the Government just making random checks. Now the whole industry is saying the same thing.

"Unnecessary middle management and bureaucracy must be abolished and the industry must be based on self-discipline and self-promotion.

"This does not mean an end to Government inspection, which is required for some overseas markets, but it would result in the AQIS export

inspection section consisting of a small group of highly qualified inspectors.

"This group would have the right and responsibility to visit any abattoir at any time and randomly check both the abattoir and the work of the company inspectors.

"Naturally there would be harsh penalties for those companies not doing the right thing," Mr Lloyd said.

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