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Wednesday, 16 March 1966

Mr IRWIN (Mitchell) .- I rise to support the honorable member for Robertson (Mr. Bridges-Maxwell). It was prudent for the Governments of Victoria and South Australia to impose an embargo when this disease was found in a mild form in New South Wales, but after the first scare and when it was found that the disease existed in such a mild form I think tolerance should have been extended on behalf of the poultry industry of New South Wales, which will suffer a severe loss if the Victorian authorities do not relax their present attitude.

Newcastle disease in a mild form has never been eradicated anywhere in the world and it cannot be handled in Australia by this form by quarantine. As the honorable member for Robertson has stated, the presence of the disease is not known until after the birds have been cured or have thrown off the virus. It has also been proved conclusively that it does hot affect humans in any way whatsoever. The effect of the embargo on the New South Wales industry, which, of course, has the largest poultry industry of any State, will be very severe unless tolerance is shown.

Mr Daly - Can the honorable member say how the birds get Newcastle disease at Blacktown?

Mr IRWIN - I think the disease may have come originally from Queensland. It has been found that Newcastle disease in a mild form does exist or has existed in Victoria.

The restrictions could seriously affect all sections of the industry and the economy generally. It is surprising how many people and industries depend on the poultry industry. The embargo placed by Victoria on the importation of broilers and eggs is having a serious effect on many industries including the processing industry, the breeding industry, stock feed manufacturers, the drug and chemical industries, the transport industry and manufacturers of building materials. So we point out to the Victorian authorities that quarantine cannot improve the situation. We ask them to show some tolerance in this matter because eventually their attitude, if not changed within a reasonable time, will seriously affect the poultry industry in New South Wales for the next eight or nine months. We ask the Victorian authorities to relax their embargo on the importation of broilers and eggs from New South Wales.

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