Sunday, 22 July 2012

Are the people of Victoria interested in safe food with regulatory responsibility? The Lib Nats are not...

Australian Food News reports that the Victorian Parliament is to review meat and dairy regulations. Now, Networkers, I am most suspicious about this.  The Baillieu Government in Victoria has allowed grazing by cattle in significant national parks.  It is bending over backwards, it seems to me, to satisfy its conservative and corporate constituency.  

The chair of the Rural and Regional Committee, Mr Paul Weller (MP for Rodney) said the enquiry needed to investigate the cost competitiveness of food safety laws on regulated businesses.

To my wary mind, Networkers, the word of Mr Weller are code for advantaging corporates, farmers, and small business with regard to cost while cutting regulation to the bone. 


Check out the language used in the Terms of Reference below: 
cost competitiveness, regulatory burden, support businesses, promote business continuity, non-regulatory methods, costs of implementation for business and government, and the facilitation of market access and exports.


Please note that there is no mention of something such as regulatory responsibility to protect the interests of the consuming public.  Ah no.  This is an Inquiry to advantage and empathise not with the public but with corporations, businesses and farmers.


Submissions close on Monday 3 September 2012




Terms of Reference

That, under s33 of the Parliamentary Committees Act 2003, an inquiry into the impact of food safety regulation on farm and other businesses regulated under the Dairy Act 2000, the Meat Industry Act 1993, and the Seafood Act 2003 be referred to the Rural and Regional Committee for consideration and report no later than 30 March 2013, and the Committee is asked to:
(1) explore the cost competitiveness to regulated businesses of food safety laws administered by PrimeSafe and Dairy Food Safety Victoria (DFSV);
(2)  have a particular focus on small business;
(3) investigate and assess:
(a) the extent and appropriateness of regulatory burden impact of national primary production and processing standards on regulated businesses in Victoria;
(b) the comparison of alternative methods to assess compliance with required standards and food safety outcomes;
(c) incentives for improved performance to reduce regulatory burden such as ‘earned recognition’ systems;
(d) how regulators can support businesses to understand and achieve compliance with regulations;
(e) how regulators can promote business continuity and improved compliance where non-compliance with regulations is identified;
(f)   non-regulatory methods for achieving required food safety outcomes;
(g) the comparison of requirements under legislation administered by PrimeSafe and DFSV with existing regulatory requirements under theFood Act 1984 for businesses with equivalent food safety risks;
(h) the comparison of requirements under legislation administered by PrimeSafe and DFSV with regulatory requirements administered by the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service for exports;
(i)   the application of food safety regulations to farm-gate sales of unprocessed and on-farm processed produce, given the desire for some agricultural producers to innovate and value-add on farm;
(4) consider the findings of other relevant reviews and evidence from other systems implemented either in Australia or internationally; and
(5) have regard to public health outcomes, the costs of implementation for business and government, and the facilitation of market access and exports.




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