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Tuesday, 30 November 1976
Page: 3014

Mr Lloyd asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice:

(   1 ) In the Industries Assistance Commission's report on a National Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme is the herd improvement aspect of greater immediate importance, and has it the greater likelihood of early implementation, than the herd health aspect.

(2)   Will he request the committee or working party to investigate the possibility of an Australasian progeny test scheme to provide a better cow population, and also to investigate the use of the New Zealand Dairy Board computer service for herd recording and progeny testing either in the development of an Australian computer program or an Australasian program.

Mr Sinclair - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The Industries Assistance Commission's report on a National Dairy Herd improvement Scheme included eight components and emphasised that each component was interrelated towards the overall benefits to be derived from the Scheme. The components are: genetic improvement herd recording herd management herd health programs veterinary diagnostic laboratory services mastitis monitoring centralised testing stations co-ordinated information operations

The priority afforded any one component will depend largely on the amount of finance made available, the extent of facilities already existing and the practical considerations ruling at the time of implementation.

(2)   Yes.

Increase in Steel Prices (Question No. 1555)

Mr Garrick (BATMAN, VICTORIA) asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

(   1 ) Did the last Prices Justification Tribunal decision to increase the price of BHP steel bring the total percentage increase in steel prices in the last 1 2 months to 25 per cent.

(   2 ) Does it also represent an increase of 90 per cent in the last 3 years.

(3)   If so, is this increase in excess of twice the inflation rate.

(4)   Can he say whether the increases will make workers, who are forced to accept plateau indexation, sceptical of the relative justice of the tribunals for labour and big business.

Mr Lynch - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) Price rises for BHP steel were approved by the Prices Justification Tribunal in both October 1975 and October 1976. Taking both into account, price increases for BHP steel aggregated 25 per cent in this period.

(2)   Including the price increases approved by the Tribunal in both October 1973 and October 1976, the relevant percentage increase in approvals for that period is 90 per cent.

(3)   No.

(4)   No; quite to the contrary, wages, salaries and supplements rose by 81 per cent in the three-year period to 1975-76, whereas gross operating surplus of companies rose by 26 per cent in the same period.

Regular Consultations with General Practitioners (Question No. 1561)

Mr Hodges (PETRIE, QUEENSLAND) asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:

(   1 ) Has any survey been held to ascertain how many Australians actually consult with their own doctor on a regular basis.

(2)   If so, what are the figures.

(3)   What comparative figures are available from overseas countries.

Mr Hunt -The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) and (2) To my knowledge no overall survey covering both the regularity of contact with a general practitioner or the regularity of contact with a specific general practitioner has been undertaken. Surveys in limited and non-typical geographic areas have been carried out on patientpractitioner contact. These would not form a valid basis for information to the honourable member.

(   3 ) No studies of the type indicated are known to me.

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