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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 2 Hansard (25 February) . . Page.. 700..

MR SPEAKER (continuing):

questions on the floor which may lead to disorder because of, firstly, the undesirable inconvenience and, secondly, the unnecessary interruption to business this can cause the house, not to mention the unintended consequences of a hastily redrafted question without notice.

Speaker Berry's approach was a sensible one and I intend to continue to follow that approach. On the specific question asked by Mr Smyth, it is open to any member to ask questions of the Treasurer at any time provided the questions do not make or repeat assertions which are the subject of the privileges committee inquiry.

Animal Welfare Amendment Bill 2010

Mr Stanhope, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Land and Property Services, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (10:04): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill 2010 will amend the Animal Welfare Act 1992 to give the minister the power to make mandatory codes of practice under the act. Although the act gives the minister the power to make codes of practice, there is currently no requirement to comply with a code. As the act is currently structured, a code of practice describes best practice in owning or caring for an animal. Compliance with a code may also be relied upon by a person as a defence, with some exceptions, to a prosecution for an animal cruelty offence.

The Primary Industries Ministerial Council agreed at its May 2009 meeting that all jurisdictions move to implement consistent animal welfare requirements. The ACT government is introducing this legislation in preparation for the introduction of mandatory codes of practice which will ultimately allow for a nationally consistent animal welfare regulatory regime.

The government will be working through a set of 23 key elements for consistency developed and endorsed during cross-jurisdictional consultative workshops. These workshops included regulators from every jurisdiction, industry peak bodies and representatives of the Victorian and New South Wales Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals.

The new national model codes of practice will be developed on behalf of the Primary Industries Ministerial Council. For example, there is currently in development a mandatory code of practice for the welfare of animals for the land transport of livestock. This will use a standard template and undergo a structured process managed by Animal Health Australia. It will also be verified through measurement or audit to

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