Page 4081 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 16 Sept 2009

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Amendment agreed to.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (3.56): This is a very important motion that has been brought forward today. I thank members who have participated in this debate, because it is a very serious matter. As I have said before, I see this as the beginning of the process of the people of the ACT becoming aware of what is going on in relation to this very important issue.

Let there be no doubt about it: the opposition will be watching this closely, as we have been, over the past five years, strongly advocating for water security for the future of the ACT and strongly advocating to ensure that it is done in a value-for-money way. Let us not have any doubts about this. This is not about the alternative between an expensive dam and a more expensive water purification system. This is about the choice between having a value-for-money project and one which is allowed to have cost run-outs and cost overruns—a project where the government of the day has no control over what is going on. It is probably the most important piece of infrastructure that we have seen in the territory since the building of the Bendora and the Corin dams, and this government is out of control. Today, with this motion, we are starting to bring some control into that process.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Eggs (Cage Systems) Legislation Amendment Bill 2009

Debate resumed from 26 August 2009, on motion by Ms Le Couteur:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (3:58): I welcome the opportunity to speak on the Eggs (Cage Systems) Legislation Amendment Bill, and I take this opportunity to welcome the advocacy most particularly of Ms Caroline Le Couteur and of other members of our Assembly for improved conditions for poultry. Even though our methods may vary, I believe that our aims are the same—that is, the eventual abandonment of cage egg production. The government will propose an amendment which I believe will allow Canberrans to make a more informed choice when they purchase eggs. Separate to that amendment, I will reconfirm the government’s commitment to advocating for a national ban on cage egg production and improved welfare for poultry.

In 1997 the ACT Legislative Assembly passed amendments to the Animal Welfare Act 1992 to prohibit the production and sale of eggs using the battery cage system. However, in order to implement such a ban, national agreement was required under the Mutual Recognition Act 1992. National agreement has not been forthcoming, so the amending legislation has not commenced. I remain committed to raising the issue on the national agenda through the primary industry ministerial council. Indeed, I have actively done so already at the primary industry ministerial council meeting held last year.

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