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Friday, 5 December 1986
Page: 3541


Senator GRIMES (Minister for Community Services)(5.01) —I thank honour- able senators for their support for the legislation. Speakers both for the Liberal Party and the Australian Democrats have expressed concern, as the amendment does, about the replacement of funds normally generated from the Rural Credits Department, which this legislation seeks to phase out, of the Reserve Bank of Australia. The Government, as I think Senator Watson conceded, has expressed its awareness of this situation. It is my understanding that the Minister for Primary Industry, Mr Kerin, will be bringing a submission to Cabinet on this matter. In the meantime the $3m available from this year will still be available. I can only assure honourable senators that we are aware of the need to maintain assistance for research. We were certainly aware of this when we introduced this legislation. We are sure that Senator Haines and Senator Watson will make sure that we continue to be aware of it. I thank honourable senators for their support.

Amendment agreed to.

Original question, as amended, resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate.