Page 2379 - Week 08 - Thursday, 6 June 2013

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cow disease”. All jurisdictions except the ACT have adopted the term “restricted animal material” in their legislation on livestock feed, whereas the ACT adopted the term “restricted feed material”.

Because of its small agricultural industry, the ACT does not manufacture much stockfeed. We must therefore import the majority from interstate. Feed tags in use in the ACT are manufactured in other jurisdictions and then imported into the territory, attached to bags of stockfeed. These feed tags do not comply with the current wording in the ACT’s Animal Diseases Act although they do comply with the wording from their home state. This situation means that importers of stockfeed are unwittingly committing an offence by bringing non-compliant feed bags into the ACT.

In order to harmonise the ACT’s legislation on feed tags with that of other jurisdictions, I propose amending the Animal Diseases Act to replace references to “restricted feed material” with “restricted animal material”. This amendment should protect stockfeed importers from the offence.

I also propose a number of amendments to the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003 to clarify the intention of the act. These amendments include providing the minister with the power to give permission to an individual to bury human remains in a place other than a cemetery. The act provides that it is an offence to bury human remains except in a cemetery unless you obtain the minister’s written permission. But the act currently neglects to give the minister the power to give this permission. The amendments that I propose will correct this anomaly.

I anticipate that the minister would only use this new power in exceptional circumstances such as in the case of a mass epidemic or some other terrible tragedy. That this power would only be rarely used can be demonstrated by the fact that—since the commencement of the Cemeteries Ordinance 1933—there are only two locations in the ACT where graves are located outside cemetery grounds that I am aware of. These locations are, of course, the tomb of the unknown Australian soldier at the Australian War Memorial and General Bridges’s grave on top of Mount Pleasant.

The bill also provides an extra review right to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal for cemetery and crematorium operators. The director-general currently has the power to issue operators with an improvement notice if he or she believes that an operator is contravening the act. With the passage of this bill, cemetery operators will be able to seek merits review of a decision to issue an improvement notice.

The amendments to the Stock Act and Stock Regulation are to facilitate the setting of the stock levy. As members may be aware, the stock levy is payable by rural lessees who run livestock. It is used to help fund services for those lessees, such as the provision of animal health services and the control of pest animals. While the Stock Act currently allows the minister to determine the stock levy, it also provides that the executive may set the minimum stock levy payable by lessees. The executive has done this in the Stock Regulation 2005.

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