Ms FORREST (Murchison) - Mr President, I support the bill and it makes eminent sense to me. It is of interest to note we have only 27 registered cooperatives in the state. I thought there may have been more.
This may, hopefully, make it easier for those smaller organisations, particularly primary producers, as noted in the second reading speech by the Leader, and to see that there are opportunities here.
This is an opportunity that has been talked about. Tony McCall, before he was working within the government arena, talked about it quite often in a variety of forms, and about looking at cooperatives in Wales and other parts of the world. Farmers work together and share farm equipment and a range of other services, to make their whole business much more prosperous and reduce their overheads. If that is what happens it would be a positive thing in the state, also allowing cooperatives to operate across jurisdictions. I am not sure how often that will happen but it is an interesting concept. Most of them tend to be smaller and more focused within the state but it opens up an opportunity.
Maybe housing cooperatives? There is a real opportunity in affordable housing and members who were here at the time remember the Housing Affordability Select Committee that we had when we went to the ACT and saw some really interesting models.
Ms Rattray - In Queensland?
Ms FORREST - Was it Queensland? I remember the one in ACT more but there were a couple we looked at in different jurisdictions that would fit well with this model and make it easier for mainland-based ones to expand in Tasmania. It is positive for a number of reasons. Any amendments to the national law and regulations will be tabled in the Parliament so this Government listens and gets it done.
Dr Goodwin - To be fair, I think the previous one did.
Ms FORREST - Did they, they put it in there too? We did not take it out, that is good. I thought I would make that point but OPC probably understand it and it is probably a good idea.
Perhaps the Leader will inform the House in her reply as to which other states have done it because it will not work on a nationwide front until every state has progressed its legislation. Particularly Victoria, because that is the most likely close connection that we will have in Tasmania, but it could be anywhere around the country. I believe the streamlining is good as it makes it much easier.
I have a couple of questions I will look at in the Committee stage, more technical in nature, and seek a bit of clarification. Streamlining the process is a positive thing and hopefully will give another option to primary producers and other organisations and groups and serve as a model to help their bottom line and make it more efficient.