Posted on 06. Aug, 2010 in Speeches

Mr LIM (Clayton) — I am very pleased to join the debate on the Primary Industries Legislation Amendment Bill. I note that the Minister for Agriculture, who is the minister responsible for the bill, has been listening attentively to the debate. With him in charge this bill will achieve its intended purpose and hopefully be implemented effectively and efficiently.

In rising to speak on this bill I say at the outset that it is common knowledge that Victoria is the largest agricultural product exporting state in Australia, and we should be very proud of that fact alone. We are not resource rich in terms of mineral and mining compared to Queensland or Western Australia, but when it comes to agriculture we are ahead of the pack, and we should be very proud of that.

It is extremely important to ensure that we are able to keep a clean and healthy environment so that our agricultural products can stand any test and hence continuously support the growth of our agricultural industries. The purpose of this bill is to improve the management and supervision levels of the relevant authorities as well as to enforce several acts. They are the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, known as the CALP act; the Livestock Disease Control Act 1994; and the Veterinary Practice Act 1997.

These days with the increasing number of overseas travellers and the expansion of international trade it has become more and more difficult for authorities to control and prevent the risk of new incoming pests or other things that might harm our agricultural industry. Therefore it goes without saying that when overseas travellers visiting our state are sprayed in the aeroplane before they are allowed to disembark they will not understand what the implications of that procedure are unless they are aware that as Victorians and as Australians we are very protective of the quality and integrity of our agricultural products in this country. Before it is too late we definitely need to introduce more integrated and advanced legislation to complete existing legislation so that we can maintain and enhance the world‑class reputation of our agricultural industry in Victoria.

In view of time constraints I propose to wind down my contribution to the debate. As I mentioned earlier, with the minister at the table in charge, I believe the intent of the bill will be fulfilled under his leadership.

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