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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (23 June) . . Page.. 818 ..

Milk Industry Review

MR OSBORNE: My question is to the Minister for Urban Services, Mr Smyth. Minister, you will be aware of the House of Representatives standing committee report entitled "Cultivating Competition" which was published in June 1997. Among the recommendations of that report is:

Where possible reviewers should be independent of the existing arrangements with more significant, more major and more sensitive reviews demanding greater independence;

Given what this report says, Minister, how does the Government's review of the milk industry satisfy this recommendation?

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I thank the member for his question. I think the review that the Government has set in train answers those criteria that the House of Representatives review set in place to the standard that the Government is happy with. We have implemented a review. We have a Milk Authority. A very qualified officer from the department, Robyn Sheen, has conducted that review. Later this week I intend to release the review to the Assembly, and then to the public for comment.

MR OSBORNE: I have a supplementary question. In the lead-up to my supplementary question, Mr Speaker, I would like to clarify something. This is certainly not an attack on Robyn Sheen. What it is, Mr Speaker, is - - -

Ms Carnell: You cannot have a lead-up.

Mr Berry: Is this the new standard, Mr Speaker?

Mr Wood: You would not let us do that.

Mr Berry: Is this the new standard - preambles? We are happy to do it too.

MR SPEAKER: There is to be no preamble, as Mr Osborne well knows.

MR OSBORNE: Minister, that report goes on to recommend:

Where reviews are undertaken by persons closely involved in the activity in question, there should be provision for a review or reconsideration - - -

Mr Berry: Do not dare pull him up. This is a new standard. Mr Speaker, on a point of order: I do not mind if Mr Osborne has a preamble. I am perfectly happy with that as long as the same rule applies to us.

MR SPEAKER: I do. That is correct; there is to be no preamble. What is your supplementary question, Mr Osborne?

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