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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 3 Hansard (14 March) . . Page.. 538..


MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

must agree that a special case for the ACT has been established. No such agreement has been forthcoming.

In summary, a ban on battery cage production of eggs in the ACT can only be implemented after an exemption for the ACT is recognised in the commonwealth's Mutual Recognition Act. The government remains committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for the welfare of layer hens. However, as I have outlined, there are a number of constraints on what may be achieved. The government is also conscious of the fact that the single battery cage enterprise in the ACT is a significant economic asset with strong operational links to the New South Wales egg production industry. In this context the government does not support unilateral action that would impact in an unfair way on a legitimate business.

In relation to 1 January 2008, which was part of Dr Foskey's question, I would advise members that at a meeting of the Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand in 2000 it was agreed to mandate new standards for the housing of battery-caged layer hens. These standards require more floor space per bird, with enhanced watering, feeding, perching and waste management facilities. While still a battery-caged system, there is agreement nationally by governments and industry that the welfare of caged birds will be improved. January 2008 is prescribed as the deadline for introducing the new standards. The government amended the Animal Welfare Act in 2001 accordingly.

Finally, the government has not undertaken any estimate of costs to government of implementing a ban on the caged housing of layer hens after 1 January 2008.

Papers

Mr Corbell presented the following papers:

Legislation Act, pursuant to section 64—Legal Profession Act—Legal Profession Amendment Regulation 2007 (No 1)—Subordinate Law SL2007-4 (LR, 26 February 2007), together with its explanatory statement.

Multiculturalism

Debate resumed.

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra—Leader of the Opposition) (3.15): Mr Pratt's amendment celebrates the rich diversity and harmony of ACT society, the strength of which has been the successful integration of so many cultural and religious groups here, and calls upon all Australian societies to emulate our model.

We have about 160 different nationalities in Canberra. It is an absolute tribute to people's ability to live in a harmonious society. We have been enriched by that, and these people coming into our community have been very important steps in the evolution of Australia.

Modern Australia was founded by basically people of Anglo-Celtic stock, and in the 19th century there were some other—


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