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Friday, 28 November 1986
Page: 4069

(Question No. 4863)

Mr Hunt asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 11 November 1986:

(1) Have consultations with the apple and pear, canned fruit and dried fruits industries regarding the proposed Horticultural Marketing Corporation been concluded; if not, when are the discussions likely to conclude.

(2) Has any decision been taken to abolish the Australian Dried Fruits Corporation (ADFC).

(3) Has he received representations opposing abolition of the ADFC; if so, what action has been taken on the representations.

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

(1) In its April 1986 Economic and Rural Policy Statement, the Government announced that the relationship between the proposed Horticultural Marketing Corporation and the three existing marketing authorities responsible for apples and pears, canned deciduous fruits and dried vine fruits would be resolved in consultation with the industries involved. In September 1986, the Department of Primary Industry published a discussion paper entitled New Commercial Structure for the Horticultural Industries outlining ways in which the proposal for establishing the Horticultural Marketing Corporation and related institutions may be implemented and the horticultural industries were invited to comment on the paper's contents.

Since then, consultations with many industries have taken place and are continuing. In particular, representations have been made either to the Department or to me by organisations within the apple and pear, canned fruit and dried fruit industries. It is expected that the initial round of consultations between my Department and industry organisations will be concluded soon. These consultations have centred on the main principles governing the establishment of the proposed institutions. I hope soon to be in a position to make a statement on the proposals, taking into account all the views presented by the industries in the consultations.

(2) and (3) There has been no decision taken to abolish the Australian Dried Fruits Corporation (ADFC). The main industry organisation has presented arguments that the ADFC should continue as a separate entity. As mentioned above, consultations with the industry are continuing on whether or not dried fruits should come within the responsibility of the proposed Horticultural Marketing Corporation. As soon as possible after the conclusion of the current round of industry consultations, I will give a considered response to the representations made by the organisations within the dried fruits industry.