Victorian Parliament to review meat and dairy regulatory agencies

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 19th July 2012

A new Victorian parliamentary enquiry will investigate the impact of administration of food safety laws on farmers and processors. The enquiry, to be conducted by the parliamentary Rural and Regional Committee, will consider food safety administrations on farms and other businesses that are regulated by Dairy Food Safety Victoria (DFSV) and Primesafe. Primesafe is responsible for administration of food laws for the whole meat and seafood production and processing industries in Victoria.

The chairman of the Rural and Regional Committee, Mr Paul Weller (MP for Rodney) said, “We are committed to ensuring Victoria keeps its world-leading reputation for the production of safe food.”

However, he indicated that the enquiry needed to investigate the cost competitiveness of food safety laws on regulated businesses. “It has been ten years since Dairy Food Safety Victoria was established, nearly 20 years since PrimeSafe was established and a decade since seafood was added to PrimeSafe’s regulatory activities,” he said.

The Rural and Regional committee is interested in any information on the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference from a range of practitioners and experts in the sector. The committee has indicated that particular emphasis will be given to solutions to identified problems in order to safeguard the sector in the future.

The cost competitiveness of the businesses regulated by Primesafe and DFSV, the extent and appropriateness of the regulations, non-regulatory methods for achieving required food safety outcomes and a comparison of the different food safety legislations across Victoria are some of the issues the Committee is interested in.

The Committee is calling for submissions to the Inquiry addressing the Terms of Reference. Submissions are due by 3rd September 2012.