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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 3073..


Protection Orders (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2001

Debate resumed from 9 August 2001, on motion by Mr Stefaniak:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Debate (on motion by Ms Tucker ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Food Bill 2001

Debate resumed from 9 August 2001, on motion by Mr Moore:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR WOOD (5.01): Mr Speaker, I guess that everyone in this chamber at some stage has suffered food poisoning. There would be very few in the community, certainly of mature age, who have not at some stage been troubled by that, whether from cooking in your own home or cooking outside at a food stall, or the finest restaurant that you can find, or even an airline. You can get food poisoning anywhere. It's really quite common. It can be serious. It can be fatal. Mr Moore, in his speech, indicated that something like 650 cases of food poisoning were reported in the last year. One would expect that many more cases have not been reported.

In the last, what, five years I have had a mild case of food poisoning. Once I am pretty sure it came from a food stall at the markets at the showground. Another time I know it came from orange juice served by an airline, because some comment was made about it and I responded. So it can happen at any time, and that bears testimony to the importance of this legislation.

This is major legislation. It is the culmination here of a very long process around Australia. I was informed in a briefing that locally some 2,000 businesses serving food were involved as part of that process of discussion. So it has been thoroughly examined by the national council of ministers and by people all around Australia. These are, again, national laws. We are getting, it seems, more and more of these laws, and I thank the minister for offering me and others the courtesy of commenting on the legislation. I did not take up his offer, but I did peruse the material that came through. Perhaps it is an indication of my confidence in the processes that I did not make a comment at the time.

Following a new food agreement by COAG in November 2000, states and territories are adopting these measures that we see here today. We see measures like the model food provisions, the national food safety standards which will replace our existing food hygiene regulations, and a new system for national food regulation.

The 2000 agreement required jurisdictions not to create their own food standards other than as a temporary measure. I understand that as a consequence of that the argument is that our present egg labelling requirements are not to be included in this bill. It was presented to me in a briefing that they could not be included in this bill. I know that Mr Corbell, on behalf of the Labor Party, will have something to say about that. I expect that Ms Tucker also will have something to say, and I see that she has circulated some amendments.


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