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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (25 October) . . Page.. 2011 ..

MR DE DOMENICO (continuing):

However, can I also say that it brings the market more into line with the rest of Australia, for a start. It enables more small business people to enter the market, thus creating more competition at a lower price, and ultimately, Mr Speaker, it will mean that people like you and I, who have to line up ad nauseam for taxis at airports, will not have to line up for as long as we now do. Ultimately, it will stabilise taxi prices for the community.

MS FOLLETT: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I should note that, whereas this Government got $2.4m for the auction of 15 taxi plates, when we were in government we got $2m for the auction of eight taxi plates, so you are not doing terribly well there. I ask the Minister how he intends to reach his budget bottom line, in view of the massive underachievement of this particular budget objective.

MR DE DOMENICO: Mr Speaker, the Government will assess and reassess, as we do from time to time, what our departments are spending and not spending, and then Cabinet will make decisions as they need to be made.

Parkwood Eggs

MS HORODNY: My question is to the Minister for cruelty to animals, Mr Humphries.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Ms Horodny, you will address the Minister by his proper title.

MS HORODNY: Okay. My question is to Minister Humphries. A veterinary inspection by an independent vet who is not a member of Animal Liberation - I urge the Minister to get his facts straight before he seeks to smear the name of a highly respected local farm vet - described a living bird rescued from Parkwood last week in this way:

A white ... bird, which has about 70 per cent feathering. The bird has been excessively debeaked, in fact so severely debeaked that the tongue sticks out. Both upper and lower beaks have been removed, the upper one so much so that it is almost at the point of the nares. It is anaemic, has overgrown claws, foot lesions, and it is in a state of extreme emaciation. It has obviously been lying on its left side on some faecal matter, where the skin is quite necrotic. Instead of pink skin, it has become inflamed and rotten. On the lower side of the vent the skin is again inflamed. There are encrusted faeces over the sides of the bird. This bird is too weak to survive, is moribund, and must be euthanased.

That was just one of 20 birds that were inspected. Does the Minister believe that the national code that was reluctantly adopted by the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee as a temporary measure - this is the point I have been trying to make - on the condition that it be revisited as soon as possible is adequate to ensure, in terms of the sentiments expressed in the introduction to that code he so strongly adheres to, that poultry are kept in conditions that neither harm nor cause distress?

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