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Woolgrowers hail Federal Government's decision

Feb '07
Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) has welcomed the announcement by Federal Treasurer Peter Costello, of legislation designed to strengthen the secondary boycott provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (TPA).

AWI Chairman, Ian McLachlan said this decision is a positive one for Australian woolgrowers.

“I am very pleased the Government has recognised the need to hold animal rights groups accountable for their increasingly outrageous behaviour, designed to damage the ability of farmers to make an honest living,” said Mr McLachlan.

“Under the changes announced by Mr Costello, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will be able to bring representative actions on behalf of persons who suffer loss or damage as a result of illegal activities.

“In relation to the Federal Court Case AWI is currently involved with against People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), action has been taken on behalf of Australian woolgrowers. This announcement means that when the legislation is enacted, the ACCC will have the power to do this.

“The TPA extends to illegal conduct outside Australia by organisations conducting business in Australia. AWI's current case against PETA is based on illegal boycott conduct by the animal rights group intended to harm the Australian wool industry; and has drawn the inference that PETA carries on business in Australia.

“In relation to the current Federal Court Case, it will be business as usual; because these new laws have not yet been enacted.

“This is, however, a very important announcement because no one in Australian farming expects animal rights activism to go away. We will therefore have stronger legislation to protect our livelihoods.

“I would like to acknowledge Federal Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Peter McGauran, who has supported the need to strengthen these laws; and Federal Treasurer Peter Costello for making this important decision that will protect the interests of Australian woolgrowers.”

Australian Wool Innovation Limited, Australia

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