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Wednesday, 20 November 1974
Page: 2557

Senator MILLINER (QUEENSLAND) -Has the Minister for Agriculture seen reports in the Queensland Press stating that the Country Party leader, Mr Anthony, disagreed with Mr Bjelke-Petersen's attitude that Queensland should go it alone in seeking beef markets overseas? Did the reports further state that if the Country Party were in government Mr Anthony would be upset if Queensland sought markets independently of the Australian Government? Where does the Minister stand on this issue- with Mr Anthony or with the Queensland Premier?

Senator WRIEDT (TASMANIA) (Minister for Agriculture) - A similar question was asked last week. At that time reference was made to the Queensland Premier having said that if he had the power he would exercise some sort of mineral resources diplomacy with the Japanese, and if the Japanese did not buy more of Queensland's meat they would not get Queensland's coal. As I indicated at that time, it is a good thing that the Queensland Premier is a State politician and not a Federal politician. It would be a disaster for this country if a person with thoughts like those ever came into this Parliament and was able in any way to influence the policy of any government. Mr Anthony, although I have disagreed with him on many other occasions, on this rare occasion is taking the right line in saying that we have to look at this question nationally and export our beef on the basis of it being a national industry. A parochial petty attitude by any Premier or State politician which will damage our national approach to these matters is detrimental to the entire Australian community.

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