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Thursday, 28 March 1957

Mr Leslie e asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice -

1.   Have any applications been received for an allocation of funds, or assistance, from the Fisheries Development Trust Account, which was established under the terms of the Fishing Industry Act 1956 from the proceeds of the sale of the Whaling Commission assets in Western Australia?

2.   Has any allocation and distribution been made from this fund; if so, to whom, in what amounts, and for what purpose?

3.   Has a body been set up to submit advice or recommendations in connexion with allocations from this fund; if so, who are the members of i his body?

Mr McMahon - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

I.   A considerable number of applications has been, received for assistance from the Fisheries

Development Trust Account. Careful consideration has had to be given to the type of project on which the limited funds available will be expended in order to ensure that the maximum benefit is obtained from their use for ihe development of fisheries in Australian waters.

2.   The expenditure to date has been in respect of a survey of the pilchard resources off the coast of New South Wales for which a sum of £10,000 has been allocated. A purse-seine vessel has been chartered and is at present testing the commercial prospects of this fishery. 0:her prospects are being investigated, including an examination of the results of an economic survey of the tuna industry of the south-east coast. The Fisheries Division of the Department of Primary Industry is carrying out this work.

3.   An inter-departmental committee has been established to process applications for financial assistance from the Fisheries Development Trust Account. The committee comprises representatimes of the Departments of Primary Industry. Treasury, Trade and the Commonwealth Scientific and industrial Research Organization.

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