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No time to consider dairy legislation

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Media ReleaseΜ ^ ίίίίί1·” ΙΙΜίΙΜΙΒ Μ Μ ^ ^ For farther information:

Parliament House, Telephone: 06/2774193

Canberra ACT 2600 Facsimile: 06/2772053


The Government seems certain to ram the dairy industry bills through Parliament without giving the Opposition time to study the legislation, according to National Party Deputy Leader and Shadow Minister for Primary Industry, Bruce Lloyd.

Mr Lloyd said the legislation is not even drafted and is not expected to be introduced into Parliament until May 26 and will have to be through the House of Representatives by May 28 to meet the Senate cut-off date for legislation.

The Senate sets a deadline for legislation that it will accept from the Lower House to allow adequate time for passage through its own House before the end of the session, which will be late June.

"This means that the dairy legislation will be introduced in the week commencing May 26 and debated and passed through the House of Representatives in the same week.

"This will not allow adequate time for the dairy industry or the Coalition to properly consult and consider legislation which will determine the future of this major Australian agricultural industry for years to come.

"On top of that the debate will probably be guillotined to

prevent the Opposition from even properly debating the Bills.

With the guillotine, it is not unusual for only five minutes to be given to the committee stages of the Bill, where amendments are normally moved, and for the total debate to be restricted to less than two hours.

"This policy of last minute legislation of vital importance to major agricultural industries indicates the Government's contempt for dairy farmers on this occasion, and before them, wool and wheat growers.

"It also makes a mockery of any claim by the Government that it genuinely works with the industry concerned."

Mr Lloyd called on the Government to introduce the legislation early in May so that there is adequate time for the dairy

industry and Parliament to properly consider what the Government is proposing for Australia's major regional farming and food processing industry.

ends 42/92 21/4/92