Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 7 Hansard (2 August) . . Page.. 2671 ..
Rural landholders have already been notified by letters about the bill's amendments. There is a provision for the bill to commence on a day fixed by the minister. This will ensure that rural landholders and other stakeholders have the opportunity to become aware of the new requirements and have time to comply with them before the bill commences.
The ACT government will undertake targeted communication and engagement with all livestock industry stakeholders during implementation of the new NLIS requirements. Livestock stakeholders include saleyard operators, stock and station agents, operators of livestock events and people keeping livestock for recreational purposes and as pets, as well as rural landholders.
The amendments made by the bill will not have significant additional financial impacts on landholders or the ACT government. Costs largely arise from additional requirements for attaching NLIS-approved permanent identifiers to sheep, goats and pigs. There will be administration, enforcement and compliance costs for government. However, given that the systems are already in place for tracing cattle, the additional costs of expanding the NLIS are not expected to be onerous on government. Stock owners are not charged a fee for obtaining a PIC, and the benefits of improved biosecurity for the ACT far outweigh these minor costs to industry.
As the ACT member on the Agriculture Ministers Forum, Agmin, I am pleased that the NLIS will be implemented more widely in the ACT. NLIS arrangements for cattle, sheep, goats and pigs have been agreed through Agmin and its predecessors in a process spanning nearly two decades. Through the NLIS, the ACT and other jurisdictions will ensure that Australia's livestock traceability performance standards are met. Australia's traceability systems for agriculture are currently being reviewed as part of Agmin's work plan. The bill's amendments will contribute towards the effectiveness and consistency of Australia's traceability arrangements.
In summary, the Animal Disease Amendment Bill will improve the ACT's biosecurity by implementing the NLIS for sheep, goats and pigs. This means that we will be able to trace these animals in the event of a livestock disease outbreak or food safety incident. Mandatory requirements for PICS will facilitate trade with other jurisdictions and enhance the ACT's biosecurity arrangements for other livestock, including poultry and horses.
The bill's amendments honour our commitment to the NLIS and the national traceability performance standards and help protect Australia's livestock industries and international market access. I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.
Bill agreed to.