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Tuesday, 4 October 1983
Page: 1319

Question No. 88


Mr McVeigh asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 4 May 1983:

(1) What is the future of the brucellosis and tuberculosis eradication campaign .

(2) Did he advise States that the Government is not able to provide the additional financial assistance sought for the campaign.

(3) Is it a fact that the Government promised additional funding to the campaign as part of its election platform.

(4) If so, why has the Government reneged on an important election promise within weeks of coming into office and thereby seriously misleading the Australian cattle industry and particularly that sector of the industry in northern parts of Australia.


Mr Kerin —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) This Government is committed to a comprehensive final program to eradicate brucellosis and tuberculosis from the national cattle herd by mid 1992.

(2) The States were advised that the Commonwealth involvement in the brucellosis and tuberculosis eradication campaign (BTEC) would be reviewed in the 1983-84 budget context. As soon as the budget was handed down the States were informed that the Commonwealth contribution to the campaign would be increased to $12.445m in 1983-84. This represents a 67 per cent increase over the $7.430m contribution in 1982-83.

The Commonwealth contribution for tuberculosis compensation has been increased from 50 per cent to 75 per cent of net costs the same as brucellosis.

Total Commonwealth expenditure on compensation in 1983-84 is estimated to be $8 .45m.

In addition $4m has been provided for special assistance measures to the campaign in remote areas. These measures are aimed at encouraging producers to implement rigorous property programs to ensure their stock are cleared of both diseases.

(3) and (4) This Government had done more than promise to maintain BTEC progress. It has provided special assistance for cattlemen in the remote areas to ensure the final eradication of tuberculosis and brucellosis.