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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 783 asked in the Legislative Council on 12 September 2018 by Hon Colin De Grussa

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 12 September 2018

ANIMAL WELFARE ACT — REVIEW

783. Hon COLIN de GRUSSA to the Minister for Agriculture and Food:

I refer to the Animal Welfare Act 2002.

(1) Has the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development commenced a review of this act?

(2) If yes to (1), will the minister please table the terms of reference?

(3) If yes to (1), on what date did it commence and will the minister please provide a time line and list of staff undertaking the review?

(4) If no to (1), why has the review not commenced?

Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:

I thank the member for the question. I hope we will go into this during the debate today.

(1)–(4) Yes, the review has commenced. The first consequence of that review was that it came to my attention that we had a major deficiency in our legislation in Western Australia in that we had no capability to enforce the national standards and guidelines that we had lined up with the consent of the industry. The first part of our attempts to modernise and review the act are before the house as we speak. In addition to that process going on, we have started the process of developing the values and aspirations that underpin the broader review. The member might be familiar with the stakeholder event that was held in November 2017 to set some of the scene. Work has also been commissioned from Acil Allen Consulting to look at some of the specifics that a review might look into. Because of the great demands that have been placed on the compliance part of our department in the past year, with the tomato potato psyllid, the citrus canker and a range of other biosecurity problems, together with the challenges of getting the first part of the legislation through, and the issues that arose out of the live export matter, which required a great deal of attention from the department, and the requirement to respond to tens of thousands of submissions on the poultry standards, I have put further work on this matter on hold until the end of the year. We have finite resources, and we want to dedicate them in the most cost-effective way. I anticipate that it will probably take a couple of years to complete the review and introduce legislation into this place.