Page 1952 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 14 May 2013

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could further add that there is currently no register or registration process for beekeepers in the ACT. The ACT and the Northern Territory are the only jurisdictions that do not register beekeepers.

TAMS is currently considering developing a code of practice similar to the one used in New South Wales, which will limit the number of bee hives that can be kept on a residential property as well as introducing a registration scheme for beekeepers, but that is only in development at the moment. It is something that we need to undertake some consultation on as there is no final position on that at this stage.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Berry.

MS BERRY: Minister, what are the benefits of domestic beekeeping and how are they balanced out with the considerations of public health needs?

MR RATTENBURY: I think there are a number of benefits to domestic beekeeping—the actual capability for people to produce food in their own backyards, the benefits of having bees in the environment for the pollination purposes that they serve and also just that connection for people of having that sense of how nature works and growing food in their own yards is something that is very positive.

I believe it is actually quite popular in the ACT. In June of 2012, TAMS funded the printing of 1,000 copies of the Plant Health Australia beekeeping biosecurity manual. That was distributed to all ACT beekeepers by the ACT Beekeepers Association. I think just the scale of that production run indicates the popularity of this pastime in the ACT.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, as part of the directorate’s consideration of introducing registration for beekeepers, will there be a fee associated with this registration?

MR RATTENBURY: Thank you for that question, Mr Wall. That has not been determined yet. It will be part of the consultation process. There certainly has been a discussion about this at a national level, about the benefits or otherwise of having a fee, and there has certainly been, at a national level amongst ministers, some discussion around the value in generating some revenue to assist in biosecurity issues related to bees in particular. Unfortunately we do have external species coming in to Australia which have a detrimental effect on the native bee population. I think even within the bee industry there are some who would advocate some level of fees to provide some resources to combat those biosecurity issues. But it is not seen that there has been a final decision on it yet in the ACT.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, are there any plans to extend this insect regulation to other species that could be bred at home, such as butterflies?

MADAM SPEAKER: Could you repeat the end of the question, please, Dr Bourke?

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