Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (19 August 1981)



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





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 19 August 1981 that something is correct but only on the other person's word, not on what he knows himself to be fact. I will touch on clause 13 as it relates to exemption for experimental stock feed. I felt that gave too much power to the Chief Inspector in that he could control completely any scientific experiments in the Northern Territory as they related to stock food, and realistically he can. I do not think it will arise from this legislation that the Chief Inspector will stifle scientific investigation relating to stock feed. Realistically, I think it has been included in this manner so that the Chief Inspector is aware of what people are doing. It would relate to a situation where people, with more enthusiasm than knowledge perhaps, are feeding stock a certain product to obtain a certain result without regard to the people who will eat that stock as meat or the products of that stock. They could be feeding stock high elements of mercury if, for the sake of argument, mercury were a well-known encourager of growth and fed to stock to speed growth and promote a quick turn-off. The stock is then slaughtered and the meat would have a very high content of mercury. It would not be very good for humans to eat that meat. I realise mercury would not be used, but that is an example. I reiterate that, as this legislation is written, the Chief Inspector does control all scientific experiments in the Northern Territory' and there is no right of appeal against his ruling. We must hope that the Chief Inspector is a person of wide experience and knowledge who is very cognizant of his power and will use it realistically. With regard to the sampling and analysis of stock foods, under clause 19, the Chief Inspector may make orders. If a stock food does not comply with the prescribed standards, the Chief Inspector may, by notice in writing served on a person, order the person to cease manufacturing the feed, importing it, selling it or using it to feed stock, whether owned by that person or not. Some people feed their chooks stale bread. There is not much nutriment in stale bread for chooks; it fills them up but it does not help much to produce eggs. I was told the reason for this clause was that a person could be feeding the stock something which was undesirable. If it is for the owner's consumption only, that may be all right, because he knows what he is feeding his stock. However, if stock or a product of the stock, such as milk and eggs, is sold to members of the public, then it is an undesirable practice. I can quite see that the powers of the Chief Inspector regarding inspection should be exerted there. By clause 20(2), an inspector may, in the exercise of the power conferred on him under subsection (1) (b), direct a vehicle to stop in order to allow a sample of stock feed to be taken from the vehicle. I query that because I have been under the misapprehension that stock inspectors could not stop traffic to demand permits. I checked with the Stock Routes and Travelling Stock Act and, under section 39, I found that inspectors have the power to demand things from people in vehicles. Section 57 says they may ask for a permit and section 58(1) says the inspectors may 'do any act', which could include stopping. Here there is some consistency between legislation. By clause 22(2), unless the Chief Inspector otherwise directs, the costs of an analysis carried out pursuant to this clause shall be borne by the person requesting it. I sincerely hope that applies not only to a private person but to the government also. If the Chief Inspector directs that an analysis be taken, I hope that the government pays for it in his name, just as a private person will pay for an analysis if he requests it. Clause 23(2) states: 'where a particular method of analysis of a stock food or class of stock food has been approved ... '. I queried 'has been approved'. I anticipate that this will be declared in the regulations and other state registrations will be quoted. I have been told that, if stock food is registered 1323

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