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Friday, 6 March 1942
Page: 285

Mr BADMAN (GREY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Whether the honorable member for Wimmera gave it to the press or not I do not know, but the press has published the statement that he considers that the Western Australian and South Australian wheat acreage should be reduced this year. If this he the policy of the Government, it is another injustice to those two States, and is in line with the way in which they have been treated in the making of appointments to the Australian Wheat Board, on which the eastern States have the preponderance of representation. Two more men from New South Wales and one from Victoria have just been appointed to the board, whereas South Australia has only one representative on it and, at the most, Western Australia has two. The forecast policy is unjust in view of the fact that last year farmers >were licensed to grow wheat on fallow land. In South Australia a greater proportion of wheat, is grown on fallow land than in New South Wales. As a matter of fact, the farmers do not. fallow land for wheat ru New South Wales, where all they need to do is to plough the land and sow the seed. Thailand could be used equally well for grazing; It would not be so had if all States were treated alike in this matter, but South Australia and Western Australia appear to have been singled out for unfavorable treatment. For instance, it is proposed to pay only 12s. an acre compensation to farmers for land which has been fallowed and which will not be allowed to be sown. It costs at least £1 an acre to prepare fallow land for the crop, and the compensation proposed to be offered is- disproportionately small, especially since the land can be put to no other use. Unlike the land in New South Wales, which can be used for stock-raising, the land in South Australia rs unsuitable for any other purpose than wheat-growing.

Mr Scully - It was not suggested that the compensation payable in respect of fallow land thrown out of production be only 12s. an acre.

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