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Thursday, 30 June 1994
Page: 2513

Senator SHERRY (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy) (7.37 p.m.) —I move:

  After Clause 68, page 39, insert the following new clause:

Notices inviting submissions in respect of certain regulations

  "68A.(1) Regulations must not be made for the purposes of subsection 17(2), 22(3) or 42(1) unless, before the making of the regulations and before the Minister seeks any advice from the Advisory Committee concerning those regulations:

  (a)the Minister has, in accordance with section 68, given public notice of the Minister's intention to make a regulation for the purposes of that subsection in relation to a particular taxon that is specified in the notice; and

  (b)the notice has given a broad indication of the objectives of the intended regulations and invited persons to make submissions to the Minister concerning it within a period of 30 days after publication of the notice.

  "(2) If the Minister receives, in accordance with an invitation in a public notice under subsection (1), a submission concerning an intended regulation, the Minister must have regard to the submission so made.

  "(3) If the Minister seeks advice of the Advisory Committee concerning an intended regulation, the Minister may comply with subsection (2):

  (a)by providing to the Committee, at the time of requesting the advice of that Committee, a copy of all submissions received; and

  (b)requesting the Advisory Committee to have regard to those submissions in preparing its advice to the Minister.".

This gives effect to the recommendation in the report by the Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs that public notice be given before regulations are made declaring a taxon under subclauses 17(2) and 22(3) of the bill. The government believes that there is merit in this proposal and, for consistency, the provisions need to be extended to clause 42.

  Amendment 68A as tabled is intended to provide for a public consultation period when consideration is being given to declaring by regulation that a taxon, that is, a species or a commodity, is a taxon to which farm saved seed does not apply under clause 17 to which an extended period of plant breeders' rights is to apply under clause 22 and to which the Plant Breeder's Rights Act does not apply under clause 42. By way of reference, I think it was Senator Panizza who raised concerns about this issue in his speech on the legislation. I know Senator Panizza was not here when I commented about this in concluding the second reading debate, but I believe that it does address the problem that he raised and which was raised through the committee hearings of the bill.

  Amendment agreed to.