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Thursday, 18 October 1984
Page: 2009


Senator ARCHER(6.21) —The suggestion that the price is supposed to be so advantageous also needs checking inasmuch as Tasmanian users pay an extra $5 a tonne to cover the handling of the grain by the Grain Elevators Board, they pay all the haulage costs from the silos to wherever they are and they pay an average of about $4 a tonne for delivery into store. Also they pay a premium because they get the wheat that they require. It is certainly not a matter of getting cheap wheat. If there is to be talk of advantage in any way I just do not understand how this arises. The system that prevails and which is so adequate is that at present there is a $47 a tonne added to the price of consumer wheat to Tasmania to pay the total freight on wheat amounting to about 90,000 tonnes per annum. There are all the shipping disabilities and storage problems at the wharf-heads. It is not that the Tasmanians are getting any great bargain out of this. It is just that as from 1939 it was decided, and it has been maintained, that a stabilised wheat price of capital city prices was desirable. This is in line with many other basic products. That is the situation and that is the way it remains.