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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 387

Senator SINODINOS (New South WalesMinister for Industry, Innovation and Science) (18:36): In relation to the first question, I would have to say that the safe harbour defences are designed exactly for that purpose: to give confidence to companies that, if they are doing the right thing and they are putting the labels on in the right way, they are protected. It is important to understand that. In relation to the second question, the best I can do is refer you to some of the material that is being provided in relation to the various types of products, how they could be packaged and what that would mean.

For example, in the case of ham, the critical ingredients in the brine mix required for curing the pork to form ham or similar products are not available in Australia and must be imported. So, as long as the ham is there, it can be 100 per cent Australian. If it is made in Australia from 96 per cent Australian pork and water with imported brine mix: 'Made or packed in Australia from at least 96 per cent Australian ingredients'. If it is made in Australia from imported pork and brine mix with Australian water accounting for 20 per cent of ongoing weight only: 'Made in Australia from at least 20 per cent ingredients'. If a ham is made in Denmark, imported into Australia and then sliced and packaged in blocks or slices for retail sale in Australia: 'Made in Denmark' or 'Made in Denmark, packed in Australia'. If a ham is made and packed in a single overseas country—for example, Canada—and then imported into Australia for retail sale: 'Made in Canada'. If the ham made in one overseas country—it could be Canada again—and is imported into and packed in another overseas country, for example, the USA, the above label can still be used or 'Made in Canada, packed in the United States of America'.

Making pork into ham is a substantial transformation, as the pork and ham are identified as fundamentally different products. Most brine mixes used to make ham combine critical ingredients—sugars, salts, nitrates, flavours—from different countries. The brine mix is added to local water to form a solution of varying strengths. The solution is then injected into the pork and left to cure for varying periods, turning it into ham.

There are a whole series of these examples—we can go through them—which will illustrate the proposition. But let me come back to the Australian Made Campaign, because I think that is an important point. In a case like that, I can engage directly with the Australian Made Campaign people and sort out the way forward in terms of the materials we are going to be providing and the use of the online decision tool. As I said before, there will be information campaigns and all the rest of it. There may be elements at the margin where a question may be raised, but if we are going to have a period of providing information we can work much of this out.