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Jim Sutton on Dairy Industry Act (No 2)

Press Release
Hon. Jim Sutton

An inconsistency between the Dairy Industry Act 1952 and the Dairy Industry Regulations 1990 has recently been discovered. The inconsistency relates to the sale and supply of colostrum, which is the milk drawn from cows within the first four days after calving.

The sale of colostrum and colostrum products is an expanding multi-million dollar industry. The value of the industry is estimated at between $30 million and $50 million a year. It is expected to increase substantially over coming years.

Section 16 of the Act prohibits the sale and supply of colostrum to dairy companies. Regulation 40 allows it to occur. The regulations are therefore ultra vires. The inconsistency has the effect of prohibiting the sale and supply of colostrum to dairy companies.

The result is that those acting in accordance with the regulations have inadvertantly been acting in contravention of the Act. Now that the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry is aware of the inconsistency, it is unable to provide official assurance to facilitate the export of colostrum products.

Legislative change is the only option to resolve this inconsistency and allow the colostrum industry to continue.

All parties in Parliament have given leave for the Bill to be entered into the House and to be given precedence.

The Dairy Industry Amendment Bill (No 2) amends the Dairy Industry Act 1952 to remove the inconsistency between the Act and the Dairy Industry Regulations 1990.

The amendments in the Bill remove the prohibition on the sale and supply of colostrum. It provides for the sale or supply of colostrum, providing its nature is clearly stated in writing at the time of sale or supply.

The amendments will apply from 12 October 1990, to ensure that anyone who has sold or supplied colostrum to a dairy company is not liable for prosecution for inadvertantly breaching the law and so that contracts entered into for the sale and supply of colostrum cannot be challenged.


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