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Thursday, 24 February 1977

Mr Lloyd asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

(1)   What progress has been made in the development of a crop and livestock disaster insurance arrangement for Australia.

(2)   What overseas schemes have been studied, and do they include the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation of the United States of America and the New Zealand Wheatgrowers Compensation Scheme; if so, what aspects of these schemes could be of value in Australia.

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

(   1 ) The Government has the question of natural disaster crop insurance under consideration, in conjunction with the Insurance Conference Committee (a widely representative group of general insurers). The Committee is currently conducting a study of the feasibility of increasing the availability of crop insurance in Australia, and the Government will be giving attention to the Committee's report as soon as it is received. As regards the impact of natural disasters on livestock, after examining the availability of assistance under various existing arrangements, the Government has concluded that no special action to increase the availability of insurance cover is necessary at this time.

(2)   The insurance arrangements provided by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation of the United States of America and the New Zealand Wheatgrowers' Compensation Scheme have been examined as have schemes operating in Canada, France, Israel, Japan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The various overseas schemes have been developed having regard to each country's particular climatic, agricultural and other characteristics and it is a matter of opinion to what extent, if at all, they might provide valuable guidance as far as Australia is concerned.

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