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Thursday, 4 May 1961

Mr ADERMANN (Fisher) (Minister for Primary Industry) . - in reply - It is evident from what has been said that the House desires the passage of this measure, and that honorable members appreciate the value of having a marketing organization. I emphasize, however, that it is essential, when marketing any of our primary products overseas, that we market them under a particular name, and that we depend upon quality for our sales. I am not an authority on wines; I am not competent to express an opinion upon their merits, but I do know the value of winning markets on the quality of our products. As honorable members have said, too many of our products - this is not confined solely to wines - have been blended and sold in other countries to the disadvantage of the market that we desire to develop. The honorable member for Barker (Mr. Forbes) has mentioned blended wines. We can never hope to extend our market for wines if we sell them in blended form. We must attract sales by the quality of our products. The only way by which we can hope to expand our markets is to stand behind the quality of our products and to produce the article that is required. The Austalian Wine Board is alive to its responsibility in this direction. At the moment, we dispose of 1,250,000 gallons of wine each year, and our export income from this source is approximately £1,000,000. One important factor that must be appreciated is tha! any extension, firming or stabilizing of the wine market has a beneficial effect in stabilizing to a degree not only the grape industry, but also certain sections of the dried fruits industry, because an expanded market for wine provides an additional outlet for surplus production of unprocessed grapes. In that way, one industry can do much to help another.

The Australian Wine Board is not concerned with the manufacture of wine; it is concerned only with the finished product when it becomes available for marketing. Even then, the board is not engaged in the actual handling and marketing of the wine. That is the province of the commercial interests. The board's role is to see that the export trade in wine is conducted in an orderly manner. While this bill seeks authority for the board to acquire and sell wine, this is purely for promotion purposes through the operation of the wine centre. The great bulk of normal wine exports will remain in the hands of commercial exporters, and will be sold under the particular trade brands and names of those exporters.

For the information of the House, and in reply to the honorable member for Mackellar (Mr. Wentworth), I point out that the United Kingdom law provides that, with the exception of port wine, there is no objection to the use of such names as "sherry", "chablis", "claret", "burgundy ", "moselle ", and so on, provided the country of origin is displayed equally as prominently on the label as is the name of the wine.

As to port wine, under the United Kingdom-Portugal Trade Agreement, Portugal has the sole right to use the term " port " in isolation. Australia and other countries are required to label their particular products " port type (Australian) " or "port style (Australian)".

The suggestions put forward by the honorable member for Barker, the honorable member for Mackellar and others have been noted by a representative of the wine board, who happens to be in the advisory corner of the chamber, and no doubt the wine board will give them every consideration. I commend the bill to honorable members.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and committed pro forma; progress reported.

Message recommending appropriation reported.

In committee (Consideration of Administrator's message):

Motion (by Mr. Adermann) agreed to -

That it is expedient that an appropriation of revenue be made for the purposes of a bill for an act to amend the Wine Overseas Marketing Act 1929-1954.

Resolution reported and adopted.

In committee: Consideration resumed.

Bill - by leave - taken as a whole.

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