Page 1363 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 28 March 2012

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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

MR SPEAKER (Mr Rattenbury) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Minister for Community Services—withdrawal of remark

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Community Services, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Ageing, Minister for Women and Minister for Gaming and Racing): Yesterday afternoon Mr Assistant Speaker was going to review Hansard regarding a comment I made, and I am happy to withdraw the comment I made yesterday.

Animal Welfare Legislation (Factory Farming) Amendment Bill 2012

Ms Le Couteur, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (10.02): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I rise today to present the Assembly with a bill to address animal welfare issues in factory farming. My bill covers four areas. It makes it illegal to keep hens in a cage system in the ACT from 1 January 2014. It requires the responsible ACT government minister to advocate at the national level for better welfare conditions for poultry. It outlaws sow stalls and farrowing crates so that only free range pig farming may occur in the ACT. Lastly, it makes minor improvements to the successful egg labelling system that has been operating in the ACT since the 2009 legislation.

Although the bill that I am tabling today has in it a lot of the things that were in the bill that was debated and not largely supported in 2009, I believe there is in fact very good reason to debate this issue again. Last week Ms Porter, who, unfortunately, has just left the chamber, introduced a motion to undertake further negotiations with Parkwood farm to convert to a barn-laid facility. Very positively, this motion was in fact amended and passed in a stronger form so that it said “undertake further negotiations with Parkwood farm to adopt alternative egg production methods”. Clearly the majority of the Assembly does not support the cage egg production methods used at Parkwood.

I very much hope that the government will succeed in its current negotiations with Parkwood. If it does then passing this bill will ensure that battery cage egg production will never again occur in the ACT, and that would be a good thing. If, however, the negotiations do fail, passing this bill is another way of achieving the same aim, by saying that it is the will of the Assembly because we do not regard this as an

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