Media Release

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Media Release

Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck
Friday 8 July 2011

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Inquiry into Australia's food processing sector

Senator Richard Colbeck, Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Australia's Food Processing Sector, today announced an inquiry into Australia's food processing sector.

"Australia's food processing sector responds to numerous challenges. Locally, these include access to investment capital, skilled labour and necessary infrastructure, and the ongoing challenges presented by the Australian climate. Globally, the sector faces the pressure to remain competitive in international markets."

"The inquiry will investigate these and other pressures, to assess the future viability and competitiveness of Australia's food processing sector." Senator Colbeck said.

While focusing on the food processing sector, the committee will also consider the health of the entire food supply chain; from the cost of primary inputs to the competitiveness of the retail sector as the point of supply to Australian families. The inquiry will also consider the impact of the global market on the food processing sector, through investigating the impact of anti-dumping laws and international anti-free trade measures.

"The sector is a key part of Australian industry and the Australian economy. It is essential that the pressures facing the sector are addressed to ensure Australia's ongoing food security and the sector's continuing competitiveness in the global market", Senator Colbeck said.

The committee would welcome submissions from industry stakeholders and all interested individuals and organisations. Submissions are due by 3 October 2011.

The committee will report to the Senate by 30 June 2012.

The Terms of Reference for this inquiry are attached.

For further information or to make a submission visit the committee website at: or call the committee secretariat on (02) 6277 3583.

Terms of Reference

That a select committee, to be known as the Select Committee on Australia€s Food Processing Sector be established to inquire into, and report by 30 June 2012 on the following matters:

(a) the competitiveness and future viability of Australia€s food processing sector in global markets;

(b) the regulatory environment for Australia€s food processing and manufacturing companies including but not limited to:

(i) taxation,

(ii) research and development,

(iii) food labelling,

(iv) cross-jurisdictional regulations,

(v) bio-security, and

(vi) export arrangements;

(c) the impact of Australia€s competition regime and the food retail sector, on the food processing sector, including the effectiveness of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010;

(d) the effectiveness of anti-dumping rules;

(e) the costs of production inputs including raw materials, labour, energy and water;

(f) the effect of international anti-free trade measures;

(g) the access to efficient and quality infrastructure, investment capital and skilled labour and skills training; and

(h) any other related matter.

For further information or to obtain hard copies of submissions, contact:

Committee Secretary
Select Committee on Australia's Food Processing Sector
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3583
Fax: +61 2 6277 5719