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SELECT COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURAL AND RELATED INDUSTRIES
24/03/2009
Food production in Australia
SELECT COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURAL AND RELATED INDUSTRIES
Senate committee
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Food production in Australia
Final

CHAIR (Senator Heffernan) —I declare open this public hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Agriculture and Related Industries. During the first session of today’s hearing, the committee is hearing evidence on its inquiry into fertiliser pricing and supply. During the remaining sessions, the committee will hear evidence on the committee’s inquiry into food production in Australia. I welcome you all here today.

This is a public hearing and a Hansard transcript of the proceedings is being made. Before the committee starts taking evidence, I remind myself and all witnesses that, in giving evidence to the committee, they are protected by parliamentary privilege. It is unlawful for anyone to threaten or disadvantage a witness on account of evidence given to a committee and such action may be treated by the Senate as a contempt. It is also a contempt to give false or misleading evidence to a committee.

The committee prefers all evidence to be given in public but, under the Senate’s resolutions, witnesses have the right to request to be heard in private session. It is important that witnesses give the committee notice if they intend to give evidence in camera. If a witness objects to answering a question, the witness should state the ground upon which the objection is taken and the committee will determine whether it will insist on an answer, having regard to the ground which is claimed. If the committee determines to insist on an answer, a witness may request that the answer be given in camera. Such a request may, of course, also be made at any other time.

[9.07 am]