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Thursday, 23 August 1984
Page: 280


Senator SCOTT (Leader of the National Party of Australia)(5.07) -I move:

That the Senate take note of the paper.

A couple of years ago, the canned fruits industry reached a serious position with a very large stockpile. That situation called for a much needed rationalisation in all the circumstances of international marketing problems. That rationalisation has occurred significantly, so that recently major producers of canned fruits have shown a profitable return.

It is interesting to observe that recently the stockpile has been reduced to a level that is considered acceptable in the industry. That reduction is the result of a concerted effort by all those involved in the fruit canning industry . Once again, that circumstance emphasises the problems suffered by many areas of primary industry in this country as a result of the operation of subsidised surpluses under the common agricultural policy of the European Economic Community. In the last two years, the market for Australian canned fruits in, for instance, West Germany has been lost totally. In Denmark Australian fruit has been supplanted by fruit from Greece and Italy, both of which countries can operate under the protection of significant duties and very substantial subsidies.

I conclude by congratulating the industry on accepting the reality of the circumstances, reducing its size by almost 30 per cent since 1980 and restructuring with the complete co-operation of producers, canners, employees and the other ancillary businesses involved.

Question resolved in the affirmative.