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Thursday, 24 October 1974
Page: 1933

Senator COLEMAN (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - My question, which is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Science, follows Senator Gietzelt 's question earlier regarding bread. My concern is not only about the price but also about the quality of that product. In view of the monopolisation not only in the bread manufacturing industry but also in the flour milling industry, will the Minister consider instructing the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation to conduct tests on the quality of bread and bread products sold throughout Australia, such tests to include the quality of the flour being used? Will he make that report public so that consumers can readily assess whether there is any relativity between price and quality?

Senator MURPHY - I will refer that suggestion to the Minister for Science so he can consider whether the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation should conduct such tests. 1 remind the Senate that section 62 of the Trade Practices Act makes provision for certain consumer safety standards. Insofar as the quality of bread comes within the scope of that Act, it is possible for regulations to be made which would have national application and which would require conformity by manufacturers otherwise they would be in contravention of the Act. It may be that if standards can be developed which would come within those provisions they could be used. I express no opinion at all on what the result of an investigation would be, but it may be that in this and a number of other fields there is a necessity for national standards to be laid down.

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