Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 917 ..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, we must be realistic about what we can do here and what we cannot do. The Milk Authority has certain obligations under the Act and potential entrants into the market also have certain obligations under the Act. In the event that potential entrants do not comply with the Act and seek that approval from the authority, we will prosecute. But the authority also has the obligation to consider all such applications, and it does. The Milk Authority put out a media release earlier today that reiterates what I have said. It says:
"The Authority is bound to treat seriously all applications to enter the market. The Milk Authority Act 1971 empowers the Authority to consider all such applications and a process exists for such consideration", Mr White said.
"The Authority has now received an application from National Foods for the marketing of processed milk and the Authority is currently considering that application.
The media statement goes on to say:
"The Milk Authority has legal advice which makes it clear that failure to allow interstate players entry into the ACT market may have constitutional implications. Section 69 of the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act provides for the freedom of trade and commerce between the Territory and the States. This provision has the purpose of picking up Section 92 of the Constitution.
Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, we need to wait and see what happens on 1 July. Anybody entering the market illegally will be prosecuted under the Act. Anyone entering the market with an authority from the Milk Authority will be entering quite legally and will be allowed to participate in the ACT milk market.
MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (4.58): Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, it is a very serious matter that we are debating today and I think that those who are looking for comfort would have received none from the Minister's speech just now. I have to say that the Opposition received no comfort from the preamble to the Minister's answer to a question from Mr Hargreaves yesterday in relation to the legal advice that he may or may not have received and his support for the milk industry. I think Hansard will actually prove what I say on this to be true, but his preamble was along the lines that he was more than prepared to support the milk industry because he drank Milo every night.
Ms Carnell: That is not what he said.
MR STANHOPE: Let us look at Hansard and see what it records on that.
Mr Smyth: Hansard does say that, but it also says that I would support the Milk Authority as best I could under the Act.