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Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Page: 1409

Senator McLUCAS (Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers) (9:34 AM) —When we finished last night, I was responding to the argument from the opposition as to why these amendments should be adopted. As I indicated last night, the government is not of a mind to agree with the amendments as they are written. I indicated that I thought that, by giving certain classes of people membership of the advisory council, that would indicate that certain classes had a greater right to be part of the advisory council. If we are going to indicate that industry representatives have designated places I think it is therefore reasonable to then indicate that every member of the advisory council should have their class of membership indicated by the legislation.

It is our view that the advisory council should not have prescribed classes as their members. In saying that, can I say that the minister is on the record as saying that consumers will be included. I think that is absolutely essential. The government has agreed to work with industry in having a role to play in the prevention agenda. Work has been proceeding on that. I am aware of a dialogue occurring between the Australian Food and Grocery Council and major supermarkets in order to work towards some voluntary activity to deliver better health outcomes for our community. In conclusion, designating positions for industry representatives on the advisory council is not something that the government wants to contemplate.