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Thursday, 10 March 1966

Mr ADERMANN (FISHER, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for Primary Industry) - The honorable member did ask me that question and I have made investigations. He suggests that agricultural chemicals are detrimental to primary industry, but I remind him that, lo a great degree, they also assist in increasing the productivity of primary industry. What is needed is a balanced approach. This matter is of world concern, because such spraying takes place in countries other than Australia. The Australian Agricultural Council has sponsored the preparation of a manual on the application of toxic agricultural chemicals from the air. That manual has been supported by my Department and can be bought by anyone who wants it. I commend it to the honorable member and to anyone else who is interested in this subject. In addition, the State departments are actively engaged in publicity campaigns to promote the safe use of toxic chemicals in agriculture. So far as the fruit industry is concerned, the Commonwealth Government, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and State departments are combining to get a proper schedule of aerial spraying so that we will not have the deleterious effects we have had in the past. I am sure that if the honorable member comes to me I can give him additional detailed information.

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