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Tuesday, 5 October 1971
Page: 1894


Mr GILES (Angas) - I support the Government's stabilisation scheme for the apple industry with no hesitation and with some degree of enthusiasm. Quite logically, I also do not support the amend-' ment of the Australian Labor Party for a single national marketing authority.


Mr Grassby - Why not?


Mr GILES - It would take a long time, to answer that interjection but I will certainly do so. If the honourable member for Riverina took the opportunity to examine the costs of running marketing schemes on an Australian basis, he would come to the conclusion that historically these costs have been one of the biggest socks ever to our primary producers. If the honourable member wanted to do a little more research, rather than go off half-cocked, he could look at the history of this very industry with which this Bill in concerned. He would see what attitude the growers took to an apple and pear marketing board. I think that I am right to use the word 'marketing' in this context but if I am wrong I shall withdraw it. At any rate, they were hopelessly out of favour with it because it cost them, as primary producers, a lot of money to administer. That is one of my reasons for opposing the amendment, and it is only a start. I could go on from point to point on this subject. For' instance, I could tie in the remarks of the honourable member for Riverina (Mr Grassby) with those of the honourable, member for Wilmot (Mr Duthie).

As I understood him, the honourable member for Wilmot castigated the Tas-, manian Government for not acting unilaterally to establish a State marketing authority. If any honourable member wants to see the futility of such a proposal, I invite him to visit my electorate in South Australia and look at an organisation called the Citrus Organising Committee which is doing precisely what the honourable member for Wilmot is suggesting the. Tasmanian Government should do through a State authority. His proposal is futile for many reasons but principally because a single State authority cannot introduce a statutory board. A State cannot control the marketing of produce once State borders are crossed, let alone oceans. I would have thought that the honourable member for Wilmot would have been aware of that distinction and would have been fair enough to absolve the Tasmanian Government, about which I know very little but about which I repeatedly hear some good, from the effects of his futile thinking. That, patently, is exactly what he is up to in relation to this.

I do not blame the Labor Party for one minute for trying to grab frantically for some new scheme, lt is very easy when one is in trouble to try to develop some form of new thinking. The only problem that exists at this point of time is that there are many States that will not agree with the honourable member who has moved the amendment. My own State would most certainly be one of them. The States would not agree to have some blue print forced on them by a hierarchical sort of authority such as the honourable member for Dawson probably has in mind. So let us not talk theoretical nonsense like this. The facts of the matter are that the producers of this country by and large do not want precisely what the Opposition today, by way of its amendment, is suggesting should be brought in.

The honourable member for Wilmot did not mention, for instance, the varieties of apple that are not wanted overseas. Surely the Minister for Primary Industry (Mr Sinclair), who is at the table, is correct when he draws the attention of the industry in general to some of the problems that exist within the channels of that industry. I am not expert on wharf costs, handling, palletisation or any form of loading apples, even cellular cartons but I do know these are used fairly substantially by co-operatives in South Australia. However, I do know that it is right to query whether we should be trying to foist on to the export markets of the world apples that are not required. I do know that this sort of thinking is common sense. I do know that transport and wage costs at wharf which I have just mentioned are important factors. For example, the honourable member for Sturt (Mr Foster) will not like it one bit when I point out my complete lack of understanding - and I remain unmoved by any argument against it - of unions demanding increased wage rates at wharves for loading apples. I cannot understand why the unions insist that their members require higher and higher wages for transport. I cannot for the life of me see why unions such as these insist on trying to grind an apple grower who is having a hard trot completely into the ground by virtually their own insular thinking. 1 would be interested to hear later the replies to these contentions. But these are things that the apple growers in my electorate are worried about.


Mr Duthie - They have nothing to worry about in Tasmania on that. They congratulate - -







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