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Wednesday, 24 August 1983
Page: 175

Mr KERIN (Minister for Primary Industry) —Mr Deputy Speaker, I seek to make a personal explanation.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —The Minister seeks my indulgence to make a personal explanation. He may proceed.

Mr KERIN —I claim to have been misrepresented. This statement is not a partisan document. I am not claiming credit for it. I simply wished to place on record- because the Australian people are not generally aware of it-the progress being made by the Export Inspection Service. The whole statement concentrated on the progress of the Service. At page 2 I said quite clearly that the Service was introduced and started on 16 March 1982. I should have thought that the honourable member for Darling Downs (Mr McVeigh) would recall that that was when Peter Nixon was the Minister. I am not taking credit for the work of private consultants that the honourable member seems to be slamming. He cannot have it both ways. If he knew anything about the employees in the New South Wales takeover he would know that most of the negotiation concentrated on this matter. This is merely a statement presented to the Parliament in a non-partisan way to inform the Australian people and Australian producers of progress with the Export Inspection Service. It is a great pity that the honourable member cannot accept a statement giving information in a non-partisan way from a Minister in this House without trying to make a few piddling, cheap political points.