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Tuesday, 4 October 1983
Page: 1315

Question No. 60

Mr McVeigh asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 4 May 1983:

Under his policies for agriculture, does he require that all meat inspectors under the National Meat Inspection Service-NMIS-should meet NMIS standard and be retrained to that standard at Commonwealth expense; if so, how many meat inspectors will require retraining, and what will be the cost to the Commonwealth of that retraining.

Mr Kerin —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

Yes, it is one of this Government's stated policies that all meat inspectors will be required to meet the NMIS standard and that the retraining will be at Commonwealth expense.

My Department has just received a report from a private sector consultancy firm which was engaged during the time of the previous Government to carry out a training needs study of inspection staff in the Export Inspection Service.

The report contains some 55 recommendations and includes a detailed assessment of the financial and manpower resources necessary to implement efficient and effective training programs.

My Department is presently evaluating the report with a view to the early implementation of many of the training programs recommended.

The training will cover inspection staff (both meat and other products) employed by the Export Inspection Service-some 2250 at 31 August 1983.

The Government is vitally concerned with the training of the Export Inspection Service's inspection staff and has provided at Commonwealth expense $420,000 this financial year to ensure that essential training needs are met.