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Thursday, 15 October 2015
Page: 7836


Senator McGRATH (QueenslandAssistant Minister to the Prime Minister) (16:27): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have the second reading speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows—

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed at its meeting on 13 December 2013 to streamline its Council system from 22 Councils to eight.

The five legislative and governance fora - including the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation - will continue as per legislative requirements, albeit outside the auspices of COAG.

At the meeting of the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation on 27 June 2014, Ministers agreed to change the name of the Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation to the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum).

The Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 (the FSANZ Act) requires amendment to reflect the name change.

Amending the FSANZ Act to reflect the name change presents an opportunity to make other amendments in the same Bill to improve the clarity and operation of the legislation.

The amendments proposed in the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Amendment Bill 2015, scheduled for introduction and debate during Parliament's Autumn sittings, were postponed and have been consolidated with other amendments proposed for this Spring. These amendments have been set out in a single Food Standards Australia New Zealand Amendment (Forum on Food Regulation and Other Measures) Bill 2015 (the Consolidated Amendments Bill).

In summary, the Consolidated Spring Bill:

   makes amendments to the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 (the Act) to reflect the change of name of the former Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council to the Forum;

   makes amendments to improve the clarity and operation of the legislation—these amendments are intended to improve regulatory efficiency and provide greater clarification for businesses and Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), by removing ambiguity and improving consistency in the way in which the Act outlines procedures for consideration of food regulatory measures; and

   in relation to consumer rights, science, public health and food industry Board members positions, amends the FSANZ Board's compositional requirements and appointment process, in accordance with recommendations endorsed by the Forum, to:

   address the need for flexibility to accommodate FSANZ's future work requirements, and

   include a competitive selection process (such as external advertising), which the Bill allows to occur simultaneously with the existing nomination process when recruiting for each vacant FSANZ Board member position.

Proposed amendments to the FSANZ Act will require consequential amendments to the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Regulations 1994.

Debate adjourned.