FOOD PRODUCTION (SAFETY) BILL
MEAT INDUSTRY AMENDMENT BILL
Debate resumed from 28 October.
Mr SLACK-SMITH (Barwon) [10.57 a.m.]: The New South Wales Government established a single food authority task force in 1997 to review the current arrangements for food safety throughout New South Wales. The task force was to ascertain and advise on the feasibility of streamlining responsibility for all food safety regulations under one single authority. The Food Production (Safety) Bill is a result of the recommendations of that task force. It will also facilitate New South Wales responsibilities under national standards. The honourable member for Orange will air the concerns of small businesses in his electorate, such as small butcher shops.
The Opposition will move an amendment in the other place. The intention behind the amendment can be met by providing that food and safety schemes in sectors other than meat, dairy and seafood cannot take effect until expiry of the 15-sitting day period for notice of a disallowance resolution or the outcome of debate on such a resolution. The amendment will ensure that the Parliament has the opportunity to debate the proposed food safety scheme and potentially to disallow it before it can be implemented.
Once fully established, the legislation will be responsible for ensuring the safe production, processing, sale and transport of foods for human consumption from the paddock or ocean to the backdoor of the retail shop. The legislation will also cover retail premises in which raw meat is further processed, such as butcher shops and supermarket meat departments. The New South Wales Farmers Association has raised its concerns about the bill.
However, its concerns are not shared by the Meat Industry Authority. If you eat you are involved in agriculture.