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Thursday, 1 December 1960

Mr FALKINDER (Franklin) .- The honorable member for Lalor (Mr. Pollard), a former Minister for Commerce and Agriculture, has always taken a very keen interest in this subject. I appreciate his remarks and analysis of the bill. I will not try to canvass the bill itself now that he has gone through it so thoroughly. He will remember, and subsequent Ministers will know, that I have pressed, over the years, for additional representation for Tasmania on the Australian Apple and Pear Board. I think that the case for additional representation is clearly supported by facts and figures and I think that figures are the determining point in this argument.

In the five-year period 1953-58, Tasmania exported 61.5 per cent, of our total exports of apples and pears. Victoria exported 17 per cent., Western Australia 16 per cent., South Australia 4 per cent., New South Wales 1.2 per cent, and Queensland 2 per cent. That, in itself, seems to me a quite logical argument in favour of additional representation from Tasmania. The honorable member for Lalor quite correctly said that we had to look at the industry as a whole, but it is fair to say, too. that the State which provides the heavy weight of exports. should have the heavy weight of representation.

I remind the honorable member for Lalor that Tasmania relinquished its right to have representation on the egg export authority and the meat export authority. That is why I feel it is not unreasonable that we should have this additional representation. Some eighteen months ago, I put forward a proposition that New South Wales and Queensland should have one representative jointly representing them on the board. In view of the fact that only 1.2 per cent, of exports are provided by New South Wales and .2 per cent, by Queensland, that seemed to me to be a reasonable proposition. However, the point is that Tasmania is now to have additional representation.

I am very glad indeed to know that the Minister for Primary Industry (Mr. Adermann) .in his wisdom, has arranged to have two representatives from the south and one from the north of Tasmania. Tasmania is a small island but there is a kind of Mason-Dixon line which divides it, particularly in the apple industry, as the honorable member for Lalor knows. I think, therefore, that that provision is a very wise one.

J should like to follow on from what the preceding speaker said as to whether or not the Tasmanian members of the Commonwealth Apple and Pear Board should be elected by the growers or appointed by the Tasmanian State Fruit Board. It would seem to me better to have them elected by popular vote of the growers. On the other hand, I do not think it is unreasonable that the State Fruit Board itself should make appointments because the members of that board are themselves elected by the growers. I do not want to speak for too long on this bill because I have talked about the matter many a time in this Parliament. But may I say, with great warmth, that this is a very welcome amendment to the act. I feel sure that every Tasmanian fruitgrower will warmly applaud it and I commend the Minister for having taken this course.

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