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Thursday, 10 November 1983
Page: 2580

Mr HAND —Can the Acting Minister for Primary Industry advise the House whether Smorgon Consolidated Industries or a subsidiary of that company was charged with a number of offences under the export regulations? If so, what were the charges, how many were proved and was the case heard in camera?

Mr HURFORD —I have heard of this case. In fact, I called for some notes about it. I am informed that the company and an employee were charged with trading description offences in relation to meat goods for export. One charge relating to interference with an official stamp was proved and the other charges were dropped. No conviction was recorded in relation to the charge that was proved, but a good behaviour bond, a conditional payment and an amount of costs were imposed against the company. The honourable member asked whether the charges were heard in camera. I am informed that they were heard in open court.

While I am talking about meat exports, I would like to convey the Government's intention to improve industrial relations in the meat export industry. There are grave problems and there is a dire need for employers and employees to get together on the problems of that industry. I am happy to tell the House that as a start the Minister for Industry and Commerce and the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations will be meeting officials from the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union next week to discuss, among other things, labour adjustment problems within the meat industry.