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Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Page: 5977


Mr JOHN COBB (Calare) (17:46): I have a couple of questions on edibles rather than growables. I will turn, firstly, to the meat trade. When the minister's representative was actually the minister himself, there was a commitment to have an independent study into the legitimate cost to government of AQIS inspections. The opposition and the industry are wondering what has happened to that examination of the legitimate cost to government of inspections. I also have a question on New Zealand apples. We were defeated in the WTO, however that does not mean that we simply have to accept whatever New Zealand wants to throw at us. From the draft report and from all indications, why are we willing to accept that the New Zealanders write their own protocols for the export of their apples to us when we are the only country, that I am aware of, that New Zealand exports to that does not have fire blight? They are sending apples to countries that do have it and are presuming to send apples using the same protocols to those countries that do not have fire blight.

In the last budget, there was an allocation of $281 million in additional funds to encourage trades apprentices to complete their qualifications. Why have agriculture and horticulture apprenticeships been removed from the National Skills Needs List, particularly at a time when those industries are absolutely crying out for skilled labour?