Parliamentary record : Part I debates (19 August 1981)
Debates for 3rd Assembly 1980 - 1983; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 3rd Assembly 1980 - 1983
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES - Hednesday 19 Aug~st 1981 to eradicate these diseases. They were threatened ];"ith a quarantine which would have meant the destruction of the beef industry in Texas, one of its major industries. There is no doubt that, when it does eradicate these diseases, the United States will certainly not run the risk of reinfecting its herds. As a result, if the Northern Territory does not keep pace with the other states in Australia with the eradication of these diseases, in not too many years time - and I think the United States is looking for provisional freedom from these diseases in. 1981) - we could be looking at a situation ,,,here the United States may not be willing to accept beef from Australia. For the reasons outlined by the minister in his second-reading speech, it may be necessary to destock. Hhere destocking is carried out for the purpose of disease eradication, there is some relief provided under the Income Tax Act. This bill is a sign of times. I do not think the Territory has any choice in the matter. If we do not accelerate the program for brucellosis and tuberculosis eradication in the Territory, events are likely to overtake us. He might be placed in the rather invidious position of having the Territory's beef industry quarantined if we cannot keep pace with the success of the program in other states. The opposition supports the bill. Mrs PADGHAM-PURICH (Tiwi): Mr Speaker, this legislation cannot be as strong as we would like it to be. To be 100% effective, it would need to be unpleasantly draconian. Although it introduces more restrictions on the beef industry in keeping with world thinking on disease control, as the situation changes in this country and other countries, greater measures of control will be introduced. I agree with the legislation. I also agree with the thinking behind it. He must try by all means to eliminate the 2 diseases, brucellosis and tuberculosis. I agree that every encouragement must be given to the farmer and the pastoralist to have their. stock tested with the aim of 100% clean herds. This encouragement must be by every means possible. Two worries come to mind. The first is financial encouragement. Financial encouragement is extended by the Commonwealth government, but another form of encouragement which is taking place at present is active cooperation between the officers of the Department of Primary Production and the primary producer. The officers in the Department of Primary Production know the difficulties that stock owners with large holdings have. It is very hard to muster because of the difficult terrain. They know the difficulties producers encounter and in many cases they help by making positive suggestions; for example, about methods of husbandry. The member for Arnhem mentioned the prime importance to Australia of the US meat market. Hhile we all agree that it is of great importance to the Australian meat industry, I think we must look to the north for our meat market. It may not be our greatest meat market, but we can sell a lot of meat up north as you, Mr Speaker, have often said. Although it may be a cynical approach to the subject, a point that must be considered is that the US imposes high standards of hygiene on the slaughtering of Australian meat for its market. These high standards are to protect its own industry. I do not really think these high standards are necessary, but evidently the primary industry lobby is very strong in the US and has the ear of very prominent politicians. The consequence is that continually higher standards are demanded of the slaughtering of Australian meat which is destined for the US market. 1300
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