Page 807 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 13 March 1991

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .

Wednesday, 13 March 1991


MR SPEAKER (Mr Prowse) took the chair at 10.30 am and read the prayer.


MR CONNOLLY (10.31): Mr Speaker, I present the Consumer Affairs (Amendment) Bill 1991. I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, this Bill effectively provides for food use-by dates to have the force of law in this Territory. When I entered this place on 1 May last year, in my maiden speech - or inaugural speech, to use a preferable term - to this chamber, I lamented the fact that there was no effective food use-by date legislation in this Territory, and that the Territory was becoming the dumping ground for outdated food which it was unlawful to offer for sale in New South Wales but which could be offered for sale - sometimes at discount prices, sometimes not at discount prices, sometimes at full price - within the Australian Capital Territory. I urged that attention be given to this problem and action be taken.

Mr Speaker, some 10 months have passed and we still have outdated food being offered for sale on the shelves in the ACT, and we still - I suspect and many others suspect - have trucks bringing that outdated food, which it is unlawful to offer for sale in New South Wales, into this Territory. The Opposition has repeatedly stated that it is its policy to use private members' business to offer constructive approaches to government and to attempt to address problems that seem to be lost in the system, and that is precisely the purpose of this Consumer Affairs (Amendment) Bill.

It is particularly appropriate that it be offered for the consideration of the Assembly this week, because this week is Consumer Affairs Week and we see the billboard on City Hill with the pictures of the sheep and we are told, "Don't be fleeced" - and sound advice that is, too. The Minister has made some statements and has been raising public consciousness of the importance of consumer affairs and we endorse what he has been doing there, as it is a very important issue to raise in the public domain.

But it is important that there not just be rhetoric on this issue; there should be protection. What we have done here is effectively to take provisions that have proved effective in New South Wales in the Fair Trading Act, and

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .