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Thursday, 27 February 2020
Page: 1664

Senator CAROL BROWN (Tasmania) (12:49): Labor supports the passage of the Export Control Bill 2019 and related bills. Whilst these bills are being passed through the Senate as non-controversial, Labor puts on the record that the Liberal-National third-term Morrison government failed to progress these bills in the previous parliament. Due to the Morrison government's failure to prioritise agriculture legislation through the Senate, the Morrison government has had to defer the sunsetting of 19 legislative instruments under the Export Control Act 1982 and the Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997 due to expire on 1 April 2020 until 1 April 2021.

Labor recognises the importance of reducing the regulatory burden on agriculture businesses. The explanatory memorandum states the bills before the Senate seek to improve the current legislation by making it more relevant, responsive and efficient for exporters, farmers and other primary producers. It claims to continue to provide strong regulation while removing duplication and ensuring consistency across commodities where possible. However, this legislation is only one part of ensuring export regulations are modernised. Commodity-specific rules will need to be developed with individual sectors over the coming months.

Labor urges the Morrison government to work closely with the agriculture sector during the development of these commodity-specific rules, as this is where much of the specific export regulation and related costs will be applied.