Page 4110 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 16 Sept 2009

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Ayes 5

Noes 10

Mr Coe

Mr Barr

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Doszpot

Ms Bresnan

Ms Hunter

Mrs Dunne

Ms Burch

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Hanson

Mr Corbell

Mr Rattenbury

Mr Seselja

Ms Gallagher

Mr Stanhope

Question so resolved in the negative.

Clause 10 agreed to.

Clause 11.

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (5.50): At this stage, I intended to move amendment No 3 circulated in my name; it just related to the dates. As I said earlier, my original bill talked about 2011; I wanted to change that to 2015. However, with 20-20 hindsight, given that most of it was going to be removed, I will withdraw my amendment on the grounds that it has now, I understand, become irrelevant.

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) (5:52): I move amendment No 8 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 4128].

The government agrees that improved signage at point of sale is required to better inform consumers about the choices they are making when buying eggs. However, the government disagrees with the approach proposed by the Greens. It might be thought that the current signage for alcohol and tobacco products is a suitable analogy for egg signage. However, both alcohol and tobacco are highly regulated products which are sold in separate areas of stores; eggs, on the other hand, are generally sold within the general confines of the supermarket aisles. Shopkeepers need some flexibility in arranging their shelves for the display of not only eggs but a range of other commodities. The government believes that Ms Le Couteur’s proposals could be onerous for smaller retailers in particular.

In some respects, the government believes also that Ms Le Couteur’s proposal could go further. The government believes not only that cage eggs should be segregated from other eggs but that, in the interests of assisting consumers to make the choices they want to make, each type of egg should be sold separately according to the method of production. So cage eggs, barn-laid eggs and free-range eggs should all be segregated and all types of eggs should have signs that appropriately describe the difference in production methods.

I think we do have to be realistic about what sized signs shopkeepers should be required to place at their egg displays. The government believes that Ms Le Couteur’s bill, if unamended, would require signs that are too large. The government amendment reduces the required type size from arial 55 point to arial 50 point.

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