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Local meat inspection could be privatised



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rBRUCE LLOTDD LHm--------------------------------------DEPUTY LEADER, NAIIONAL PAR I V OF AUSTRALIA SHADOW MINISTER FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRY LOCAL MEAT INSPECTION COULD BE PRIVATISED

Medial

The Government is presiding over an inspection service which is costly, inefficient and sometimes corrupt, and it is

understandable that 31 NSW abattoir owners were refusing to pay the full cost, according to National Party Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister for Primary Industry, Bruce Lloyd.

Mr Lloyd said it was well known that the meat inspectors union was one of the most militant in Australia and abattoir owners were reluctant to come forward with complaints because of reprisals.

He said some domestic abattoirs were forced to employ more full time inspectors than they needed because they were not in large centres and it was not possible to get a casual inspector for the odd days when their kill exceeded the limit for the number of

inspectors needed most days.

"Commercial businesses which run on commercial lines have add-on costs of 30 to 35 per cent for each worker, but the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service has add-on costs of more than 100 per cent.

"For example a meat inspector earns about $28,000 a year, but the Government charges the abattoir $65,000. Veterinarians get about $35,000 but the abattoir must pay $93,000."

Mr Lloyd said it was time for the Resources Minister, Alan

Griffiths, to stop playing around the edges and get some real reforms in AQIS.

"The service costs about $173 million a year to run, and inspite of the introduction of quality assurance programs designed to allow abattoirs to undertake more of their own inspection the cost of the service had not diminished.

"The Coalition intends to put a broom through AQIS immediately on getting back into Government.

"If the system was at least corporatised and the top heavy

structure of too many bureaucrats was removed, meat inspection costs could be halved," Mr Lloyd said.

END 12/4/91

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