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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 03 Hansard (Thursday, 1 June 1995) . . Page.. 746 ..


We will support this legislation, Mr Speaker, because, when sites for mobile homes are leased, it is appropriate that there is a legally recognised lease associated with them. However, the Greens feel that it is appropriate that the Assembly closely monitor the use of mobile homes and the contractual arrangements surrounding mobile home use. I understand that the Community Law Reform Committee is looking at some of these issues and is monitoring developments in other States, and it may be appropriate for the Assembly to look at this issue further in the future.

Debate (on motion by Mr Berry) adjourned.

TRADE MEASUREMENT (AMENDMENT) BILL 1995

Debate resumed from 30 May 1995, on motion by Mr Humphries:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR CONNOLLY (4.06): The Opposition supports this piece of legislation. Given some of the media attention to this - in the Canberra Times there was a picture of a baker and a story that the Government is proposing to deregulate bread - there may have been some thought that the Opposition might take political issue about this and say, “Shock, horror!”; but in fact what is happening is the implementation of a now nationally agreed scheme for a single uniform trade measurement regime across Australia for a whole range of consumer items. That had been agreed in its basics way back in about 1991.

There had been a sticking point about the way bread would be measured. For reasons which seem obscure, even though I was present at the meetings when these decisions were taken, Ministers could not agree on a uniform regime for the way bread should be sold and packaged. It may have some historical connections. Regulation of bread sales and the need for uniform measures for the sale of bread have great historical precedent. Magna Carta, in fact, contains references to uniform measures for the sale of bread, ales, wines and bolts of cloth. Parliaments and law-makers have, for a very long time, interested themselves in the purity of measures of the staples of life, and bread has always been seen as one of those. It did mean that there were some peculiar anomalies, in the sense that people who sold packaged bread had to sell to certain sizes. Quite sensibly, parliaments say that the public must know what they get, and the public must have some assurance that if they are sold a kilo they get a kilo; but is there any particular need that bread be sold in a certain size or shape or what have you?

Consumer Affairs Ministers at last year's meeting finally decided that this was a little silly and that the specific laws for the sale of bread that applied in various States would be abolished, and the regime for bread sales would, in effect, be brought into the national uniform trade measurement regime. This Bill implements that. It was announced just before Christmas by the former Government that this was legislation that we were intending to proceed with. I think it may have been presented as an exposure draft of the Bill. This is a sensible measure which brings into effect a single national uniform regime for weights and measures for consumer goods generally and does away with a specific regime which once used to apply to the sale of bread.


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