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Thursday, 31 May 1984
Page: 2297


Senator BOSWELL(10.08) —I rise to make a few comments on Japanese beef imports. I wish to point out to honourable senators that the Australian share of the Japanese beef quota has slipped from 88.9 per cent in 1971 to 67.2 per cent-an all time low-in 1983, while the United States of America's share of the Japanese beef market has gone from 1.2 per cent in 1971 to a forecasted 26.6 per cent in 1985. I am sure the Minister for Trade (Mr Lionel Bowen) and the Minister for Resources and Energy (Senator Walsh), who represents the Minister for Trade in the Senate, are very much concerned with these disastrous figures.

I wish to ask the Minister what action was taken by the Australian Government representatives regarding negotiations for an ongoing agreement with Japan on the beef trade. Did the Minister for Trade visit Japan last year? Did he raise the future of the Australian's beef market share with the Japanese Government during his visit? Did he visit Japan at any other time after taking office in March last year? Mr Temporary Chairman, I have a series of questions to ask and I wonder whether the Minister would be kind enough to take them on notice to save the time of the Committee at this late hour. I put that question to the Minister now.