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Tuesday, 2 October 1984
Page: 1014

Senator MACKLIN —My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry. Given that the Australian sugar industry is one of Australia's major rural industries and a major employer, and that the industry is deeply depressed with raw sugar prices at their lowest level for 12 years, does the Government plan to introduce any incentives to assist ailing sugar producers? If so, when will such incentives be introduced and can the sugar industry in Queensland and New South Wales in particular expect any additional support from the Federal Government before the impending Federal election?

Senator WALSH —The Government has already done a good deal for the sugar industry in the light of the present recession. I cannot remember the amounts but additional funds were made available to sugar mills in last year's Budget. I do not recall off the top of my head whether any further funds were made available in this year's Budget for special loans. I am not aware of any additional measures being proposed but I will contact the Minister for Primary Industry to see whether any information can be added to my answer.