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Thursday, 19 November 1959

Mr ADERMANN (Fisher) (Minister for Primary Industry) . - Mr. Chairman, the Australian Canned Fruits Board has the function of organizing the export, and the sale and distribution after export, of Australian canned fruits - peaches, pears, apricots, pineapples and pineapple juice. It is not a trading authority, its powers being entirely regulatory. The activities of the board are financed solely by a levy paid by canners on exports. The annual income of the board from this source is about £65,000.

Here, again, is a body which is not a commodity board in the true sense of the term. The proposal for the appointment of an employees' representative on this board involves considerations similar to those that were discussed in relation to the Canned Fruit (Sales Promotion) Bill 1959. The honorable member for Bendigo (Mr. Clarey) proposed an amendment to that measure designed to secure the appointment of an employees' representative onthe Australian Canned Fruit Sales Promotion Committee. I pointed out then that the employees did not contribute to the cost of promotion. Indeed, one of the canneries makes a contribution of as much as £100,000 a year for promotion. Other canners contribute. The Australian Canned Fruits Board makes a contribution to publicity and the Commonwealth Government, which has a representative on the committee, contributes heavily to promotion and publicity overseas. Having the growers' representative on this board to provide contact with the canners does two things: It brings the growers knowledge of the quality of the product that they need to grow. They have a responsibility to produce the goods that the canners can handle and sell profitably. This brings them knowledge that they cannot acquire unless they are in direct touch. Secondly, it brings knowledge of promotion to the Australian Canned Fruit Sales Promotion Committee. As I said earlier the activities should dovetail and not overlap. There is a contribution to promotion by the canners, the Australian Canned Fruits Board, and the Government. But the contribution to the promotion committee will be determined by what the growers themselves think should be levied.

I think that issue is quite clear cut.I am very happy to accede to the views of the growers who put up this proposition.I would be false to my trust if, having made an arrangement with them, I agreed to anything else. Consequently, I cannot agree to the proposed amendment any more than I could agree to that relating to the promotion committee. It was the growers' proposition that they should advertise their own product because of increased planting. I think that they expect an increased production of about 40 per cent, by 1963. Therefore, they are wise in making forward provision for the market that they will need for the extra production.

What the honorable member for Bendigo fails to recognize is that the more this industry expands and the more promotional activity brings extra markets, the greater the benefits that will come to the employees with whom he is concerned. Of course, he is directly concerned with them. I understand that he is president of the Food Preservers Union of Australia. Naturally, he cares for their interest. I am not decrying their welfare, but I can see greater benefits for the employees as I can for the producers and for those who are cann the product. Anyhow, the Government cannot accept the amendment.

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