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Wednesday, 12 April 1961

Mr KEARNEY (CUNNINGHAM, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Minister for Primary Industry. I preface it by directing the Minister's thought to the current publicized claims that during the next few months meat prices are expected to rise considerably and to an extent that, for most family wage-earners, will make meat a luxury; in short, that it will cost more to eat meat this winter. Is it a fact that lamb prices will rise to a peak in midwinter and that beef prices will tend to rise because of a fall-off in production coupled with the continued high rate of export? I next ask the Minister whether much of the already high price of meat and the forecast increase in the price of meat to the public are due to the marketing charges and the high cost of machinery and equipment, including the interest rates charged for essential borrowings by primary producers from banks and finance companies?

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