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Wednesday, 6 October 1971
Page: 1948


Mr SHERRY (Franklin) - 1 merely want to reinforce what the honourable member for Braddon (Mr Davies) has said with regard to escalating costs. I can assure the Minister for Primary Industry that this projection is not one of the Opposition's inventiveness but is the wish of the industry. I am quite certain that he would be prepared to accept that proposition. As the honourable member for Braddon has said, it is quite true that only last week I met almost 300 growers who were quite unanimous in seeking that the escalation clause be included in this Bill. I have some sympathy for the Minister who has made the explanation that, because of some constitutional constriction as applied by the Senate, he is unable to include the clause in the way indicated. I fail to recognise the validity of this argument or proposition. I can only put my own view on this.

The Minister has been responsible for the introduction of the legislation into this chamber and it is quite absurd that he is not also endowed with the responsibility to make a variation or addition to the legislation. I find it very difficult to go into the electorate, with all due respect to the Minister, and give the electors - that is, the industry - the answer that the Minister has given us here in this chamber this afternoon. They will not understand the constitutional complexities. If they do not understand them then they will possibly reject the Minister's answer. Let me say merely that I reinforce the comments of the honourable member for Braddon in relation to the particular problem that we have.

In conclusion let me put 2 questions l-"> the Minister with regard to freights, because they are relevant to this clause. I would like the Minister to state, if he has the information available, what position currently prevails in the freight rate negotiations which were the subject of discussions last week? Can the Minister confirm that an American shipping consortium has offered to ship the Tasmanian apple and pear exports for the next season at the rates that prevailed last year? If he can give me some indication as to what level these discussions have reached we can then go out and tell the people that the escalation we are talking about is at least receiving prime consideration and we are hopeful that the problem can be resolved in a satisfactory way.







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