House of Representatives Committees

| House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture, Resources, Fisheries and Forestry

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Preliminary Pages


This inquiry has considered two Bills that seek to improve the regulation of agriculture and produce markets in Australia. The Committee considered these two Bills jointly, and received a number of helpful submissions.

Whilst acknowledging the positive intent of the Bills, this report records the Committee’s concerns about the impacts the Bills would have if passed. Any proposed changes to current regulation must be very carefully considered, to ensure that the overall benefits of change outweigh the costs of change. Some of the ideas put forward in these Bills have initial appeal, but in practice they would be counterproductive.

Above all, any changes to the regulation of the horticulture industry must have the broad support of the industry itself. It is clear, through submissions to the inquiry, that these Bills do not have the support of the industry.

This report provides a detailed discussion of issues raised during the inquiry, and I would like to thank those individuals and organisations that made submissions to the inquiry.


Hon Dick Adams MP


Membership of the Committee



Hon Dick Adams MP


Deputy Chair

Mr Alby Schultz MP



Hon Bruce Billson MP*

Mr Darren Cheeseman MP

Mr George Christensen MP

Hon John Cobb MP*


Mr Tony Crook MP

Mr Steve Gibbons MP*

Mr Laurie Ferguson MP*

Mr Geoff Lyons MP


Mr Rob Mitchell MP

Mr Dan Tehan MP





* Denotes supplementary member, appointed to the Committee for this inquiry only.

Committee Secretariat



Mr David Brunoro

Inquiry Secretary

Research Officer

Mr Thomas Gregory

Mr Nathan Fewkes

Office Manager

Administrative Officer

Mrs Dorota Cooley

Ms Louise Goss





Terms of Reference


On 22 September 2011 the Selection Committee referred the following bill to the Committee for inquiry and report:

n  Competition and Consumer Amendment (Horticultural Code of Conduct) Bill 2011 and Constitutional Corporations (Farm Gate to Plate) Bill 2011

The Terms of Reference were the text of the Bill.

Under Standing Order 222(e), the House is taken to have adopted Selection Committee reports when they are presented.


List of abbreviations



Australian Competition and Consumer Commission


Australian National Retailers Association


Horticulture Code of Conduct


Mareeba District Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association


National Farmers’ Federation


NSW Farmers’ Association


Produce and Grocery Industry Code of Conduct


Regulatory Impact Statement


List of recommendations


Constitutional Corporations (Farm Gate to Plate) Bill 2011

Recommendation 1

The Committee recommends that the Constitutional Corporations (Farm Gate to Plate) Bill 2011 not be passed.

Competition and Consumer Amendment (Horticulture Code of Conduct)
Bill 2011

Recommendation 2

The Committee recommends that the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Horticulture Code of Conduct) Bill 2011 not be passed.




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