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Wednesday, 3 November 1976
Page: 2268

Mr GILES (ANGAS, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) -Did the Minister for Primary Industry have a worthwhile meeting on Monday with various people interested in the restructuring of the Australian Meat Board? Could he perceive any encouraging signs by way of a consensus emerging? If not, will he give maximum thought to the Government Parties Rural Committee report on this subject which, of course, in my view is so much better than other views that have been expressed?

Mr SINCLAIR - Both in the reconstitution of the Australian Meat Board and in every other area associated with primary industry I have found the members of the Government Parties Rural Committee extraordinarily helpful. I think that through the medium of the Committee's chairman and members the Government and the people of Australia are being particularly well served. Let me explain to the House the position in regard to the restructuring of the Australian Meat Board: At this stage there is no Government plan or program. There is a suggested format which was discussed exhaustively at the meeting in Sydney on Monday. As in the case of suggesting how meat entitlements should be earned in the United States of America, there were almost as many views as there were participants in the conference. However, there seems to be some consensus that there could well be advantage for the meat industry in a restructuring of the Australian Meat Board. There seems to be a general consensus that in a change towards a meat and livestock corporation and some extension of the powers of the Meat Board there could be some advantages which perhaps do not exist under the present format. I undertook to that meeting to consider all the views, including of course those of the Government Parties Rural Committee, and as a result to produce another suggested design from which we might be able to achieve a consensus. I commend the honourable member, as chairman of that Committee, and his colleagues for the very real work they are doing to assist the disadvantaged rural members of the Australian community.

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