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Tuesday, 24 November 1959

Mr HASLUCK (CURTIN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Territories) - I am aware that this year a shipment of rice is being made overseas. This is the first considerable marketing of the produce of Territory Rice Limited in the Northern Territory. The shipment this year is, of course, a comparatively small one and will recoup only to a small extent the expenditure that the company has incurred in developing the property. This expenditure far outweighs any expenditure of public money in the venture. The private investment is immeasurably greater than the public investment and would probably be of the order of £750,000 to £100,000 of public money. I would riot attempt to predict or make any statement about the future marketing policy of Territory Rice Limited. The only point I would like honorable members to bear in mirid is that, for this industry to succeed at all, it must be developed on a sound economic basis. The rice has to be marketed iri Asia, not on the mainland of Australia, and will have to be marketed in competition with rice grown in Asia. Although the advantages that would accrue to the Northern Territory from having the complete and final processing of rice done there would be great - and we hope that this can be achieved - if the choice is between having no rice and rice exported in paddy, then I am sure that most people in Australia, particularly those in the Northern Territory, would rather have an industry that exported paddy than have no industry at all.

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