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Tuesday, 21 May 1957

Mr CLAREY (Bendigo) .- I support the amendment of the honorable member for Wilmot (Mr. Duthie). The proposal that a representative of the Australian Primary Producers Union should be on the Wool Research Committee is reasonable and practical. It will give representation to wool-growers who are not represented by the organizations set out in clause 12. The Australian Primary Producers Union is a growing organization because, in the main, it is made up of the small farmers and land-holders in the various States. I know that most of the producers in the Heathcote district of my electorate, where there are quite a number of pastoral properties, belong to this organization. Other members are to be found among people engaged in agricultural activity, such as tomato-growing.

The organization deals with the problems of the small man. The man who runs a small number of sheep, or engages in several classes of agriculture, having perhaps a few sheep and a couple of cows, has problems of his own - problems quite different from those that might be experienced by the big pastoralists, most of whom are members of the Australian Woolgrowers Council, or the Australian Wool and Meat Producers Federation. I can only speak from experience in my own electorate. The man who runs thousands of sheep has one kind of problem, and the honorable member for Mallee (Mr. Turnbull) indicated the sort of problem that might be encountered by the small land-holder. He doubted whether Australian wool of superfine quality could be produced by other than the present method of raising sheep, whereas the honorable member for Lalor (Mr. Pollard) was of the opinion that the small land-holder could produce sheep with wool of superfine quality. That is an indication of the difference of opinion that can exist between two honorable members with experience of primary production in regard to what the small land-holder can produce. It indicates clearly that the breeding of sheep in large numbers poses problems of its own, and that the same is true of the breeding of sheep on a small scale. That being so, it is most essential that the small land-holder should be represented and thus ensure that research into his special problems is in fact conducted.

There would be the additional advantage that the Australian Primary Producers Union would be able to disseminate among its members the results of wool research, to which the widest possible publicity should be given. If the organization were represented, that could be done quickly, and its members could take full advantage of it. The amendment, if accepted, would strengthen the bill and give the small man a chance to have his special difficulties examined.

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