Terms of Reference

Select Committee on Australia's Food Processing Sector

Terms of Reference

(1) 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.

(2) That the committee consist of 9 senators, 4 nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, 3 nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate and 2 nominated by any minority party or independent senators.

(3) That:

(a) participating members may be appointed to the committee on the nomination of the Leader of the Government in the Senate, the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate or any minority party or independent senator;

(b) participating members may participate in hearings of evidence and deliberations of the committee, and have all the rights of members of the committee, but may not vote on any questions before the committee; and

(c) a participating member shall be taken to be a member of the committee for the purpose of forming a quorum of the committee if a majority of members of the committee is not present.

(4) That the committee may proceed to the dispatch of business notwithstanding that all members have not been duly nominated and appointed and notwithstanding any vacancy.

(5) That the committee elect as chair one of the members nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and, as deputy chair, a member nominated by any minor party or independent senators.

(6) That the deputy chair shall act as chair when the chair is absent from a meeting of the committee or the position of chair is temporarily vacant.

(7) That the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, may appoint another member of the committee to act as chair during the temporary absence of both the chair and the deputy chair at a meeting of the committee.

(8) That, in the event of an equally divided vote, the chair, or the deputy chair when acting as chair, have a casting vote.

(9) That the committee have power to appoint subcommittees consisting of 3 or more of its members and to refer to any such subcommittee any of the matters which the committee is empowered to examine.

(10) That the committee and any subcommittee have power to send for and examine persons and documents, to move from place to place, to sit in public or in private, notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of Representatives, and have leave to report from time to time its proceedings, the evidence taken and such interim recommendations as it may deem fit.

(11) That the committee be provided with all necessary staff, facilities and resources and be empowered to appoint persons with specialist knowledge for the purposes of the committee with the approval of the President.

(12) That the committee be empowered to print from day to day such documents and evidence as may be ordered by it, and a daily Hansard be published of such proceedings as take place in public.

For further information, 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