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Thursday, 17 November 1938

Mr WARD (East Sydney) .- I move -

That the following new sub-clause be inserted - "(1a.) After such date as is notified in the Gazette by , tlie Minister on the recommendation of the board, a contract for the insurance against loss or deterioration of any apples or pears while awaiting transport by sea to any place beyond the Commonwealth or while in course of, or awaiting disposal after, such transport, shall not be made except with the board acting as the insurer."

Honorable members on both sides of the chamber have made it clear that whether the insurance be undertaken by an overseas company or by the Australian companies, a great deal of exploitation of primary producers takes place. In order to obviate that, I have moved this amendment. It provides that .the board, shall be the only insuring authority in this country in respect of this particular risk. We have had experience of insurance offices in the States, particularly in New South Wales, where the State Insurance Office commenced without any capital whatever, and operated so successfully that it was able to make a profit of £100,000 per annum after paying all the taxes for which it was liable. Any profit made as the result of the board undertaking this work should accrue to the growers themselves, and it should prove of material benefit to them. If it be argued by some honorable members that the board would not have the necessary financial resources to undertake this insurance work in case of the loss of a shipment shortly after its establishment, the Government could give the necessary guarantee to tide it over the initial period. We know that over a period of time this form of insurance would prove profitable to private insurance companies. If any profit is to be made, it should go back to the growers whom this Government says it is anxious to assist by the passage of this legislation. I trust that the amendment will be accepted.

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