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Tuesday, 4 October 1983
Page: 1315

Question No. 61

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

(1) Has the Queensland Government constantly opposed the concept of a single National Meat Inspection Service-NMIS-in Australia.

(2) If so, how does he propose to implement his election promise to create a single NMIS, and will he use similar tactics to those being adopted by his Governemnt in the dams dispute with Tasmania.

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

(1) and (2) In December 1982, my Department was advised by the Queensland Department of Primary Industries that they felt no substantial progress could be made on this matter until the Commonwealth-Victorian arrangements under consideration at that time had reached the stage where the proposals were more adequately defined. In this context in April this year my department directed to the Victorian Department of Agriculture a Discussion Paper on possible proposals aimed at the achievement of a single National Inspection Service -NMIS. A copy of this Discussion Paper was also sent at that time to the Director-General of the Queensland Department of Primary Industries. Since then discussions have taken place on this matter between officials of the relevant Commonwealth and State Departments.

I am pleased to say that the Victorian Government has recently indicated it is prepared to enter into negotiations with the Commonwealth on the subject of a single meat inspection service. I hope that this recent development along with the establishment of a single service arrangement in New South Wales from 1 July this year, will accelerate the establishment of a single National Inspection Service.