Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 7 April 2005) . . Page.. 1560 ..
but there is no way that my staff could have given these amendments the attention that they deserve in the very short number of hours that they have had them today. In that sense, I know that I will not be giving this bill the attention that it deserves, but that does not mean that I do not agree with it in principle.
In my statement I am going to discuss both the Animal Diseases Bill and the Stock Bill, because they are integrally related. As I understand it, these bills between them will allow for managing straying stock as well as managing animal diseases. In addition, the Animal Diseases Bill provides for the banning of swill feeding to livestock. These bills were tabled only three weeks ago and two of the weeks since then have been shortened by public holidays. Even though they are part of a national scheme, I do not think that they should necessarily receive less scrutiny by members in this place. I would prefer that we did not go into the detail stage today.
I have been advised that the two bills are consistent with New South Wales legislation, which is important. The Animal Diseases Bill reflects the national livestock identification system and I support that we have national standards and a consistent approach for managing animal diseases. I believe it important that our legislation is in line with that of other jurisdictions. Again I raise concerns regarding strict liability clauses in both bills. There are a significant number of strict liability offences in these bills. Some of them might be reasonable but, for others, members of the Assembly had tabled amendments to take them out.
The scrutiny committee made a number of comments relating to the absence of review provisions in regard to some decisions of both bills, as well as the provisions of the Animal Diseases Bill allowing entry without a search warrant. Capacity for review of decisions and proper processes is an area of high importance to the Greens. However, having looked at these provisions, I accept the arguments put forward by the government that in each instance these provisions are structured as such to allow timely decision making and are needed to ensure that there can be some certainty regarding necessary measures to control the spread of exotic diseases. I also accept the rationale in regard to the lack of review for decisions to grant travelling stock permits—that a review clause would delay the issuing of such permits.
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs) (5.09), in reply: The effective management of stock disease is very important to the primary industry sector in terms of direct economic impact. What is not so apparent is the need for a consistent approach to the management of diseases that have national and international implications if detection, control and eradication measures are not adequate.
Australia has an enviable reputation for being free of major exotic diseases that have had disastrous consequences in other countries where outbreaks have occurred or where a disease-free status cannot be demonstrated. I am sure we all recall the mad cow disease outbreak in Europe and its cost to primary industry and the community generally. Apart from its direct effect on the cattle and dairy industry, there are important public health implications if the disease is not controlled.
We also know that foot-and-mouth disease can spread rapidly and be ruinous to affected industry sectors if not controlled effectively. These are the most prominent examples of