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Wednesday, 26 November 1986
Page: 3818

(Question No. 4544)

Mr Hunt asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 16 September 1986:

(1) Has the Australian Apple and Pear Corporation decided to reduce the number of Victorian export licences; if so (a) from what date does the decision apply, (b) how many licences will be withdrawn, (c) why will they be withdrawn and (d) what criterion will determine such withdrawals.

(2) Has he or the Corporation discussed this decision or any impending decision with persons and companies affected by the changes.

(3) If no such decision has been taken, is a reduction of licences in Victoria under consideration.

(4) Is such a reduction being considered for any other State.

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

(1) The Australian Apple and Pear Corporation's policy is to restrict the number of exporters so as to improve Australia's overall export performance by assisting export co-ordination activities. The Corporation has advised me that for the next licensing period beginning on 20 January 1987, the Corporation considered 6 licences to be the optimum number for Victoria. However, after considering the 21 applications received the Corporation has decided to grant 12 licences for Victoria for the new period. This compares with the 17 existing licences. Allocations in accordance with the policy were made consistent with the eligibility criteria laid down in the Apple & Pear (Conditions of Export) Regulations (Amendment) 1986. Unsuccessful licence applicants have the right of appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of Corporation licensing decisions.

(2) When formulating the new policy the Corporation conducted extensive consultations with all sections of the industry, and adopted the policy only after it had been supported by the Australian Apple and Pear Growers' Association and the Australian Apple and Pear Shippers' Association. All existing licensees were fully informed of the Corporation's policy and intentions.

(3) See answer to (1).

(4) The Corporation has advised me that the policy has been applied to all States.