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Wednesday, 6 October 1971
Page: 2003


Mr Whitlam asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice:

By what percentage would the charge for telephone calls have to. be increased if the whole cost of extending and maintaining telephone services was found from telephone revenue.


Sir Alan Hulme - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The level of charges which would be needed in order to finance all expenditureon the telephone service from internal Post Office resources would vary from year to year. The number of services and movements in the wage rates of staff would influence financial needs.

At the levels of earnings and costs estimated for 1971-72 telephone call charges would have to be increased by about 60 per cent over the charges proposed in the Budget to meet the cost of extending and maintaining the telephone service in that year.

Locust Plague (Question No. 4107)


Mr Grassby asked the Minister for

Primary Industry, upon notice:

(1)   Will he confer urgently with the New South Wales Minister for Agriculture with the object of providing all possible Commonwealth assistance in containing the threatened locust plague in south west New South Wales.

(2)   What form of assistance could be made available by the Commonwealth.


Mr Sinclair - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   I am informed that the New South Wales Department of Agriculture has the plague locust situation in the south-west of the State under close observation. The New South Wales Minister for Agriculture has announced that action taken includes:

1.   The setting up of a radio network so that the situation is continually under surveillance.

2.   Ample supplies of insecticide are being made available to Pastures Protection Boards and where landholders are in urgent need of supplies, these will be transported to them.

3.   If ground control is not being effective, aircraft will be used to spray, swarms of locusts either migrating or settled.

4.   Helicopters and fixedwing aircraft will also be brought in for aerial survey work.

5.   Selected employees of Pastures Protection Boards will be seconded, if necessary, to act as field officers.

The New South Wales Department of Agriculture has also been conducting seminars throughout the area concerned to advise landholders of means of dealing with the pests.

(2)   The Commonwealth and the States of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia are associated in a standing arrangement to provide surveillance against locust outbreaks and investigations into ways of reducing and controlling their incidence. The three States meet the cost of the Locust Patrol Service as their contribution to the programme, while research by CSIRO in collaboration with the Anti-Locust Research Centre, London is financed by those two organisations, supplemented by funds from the Special Research

Grant. The programme of investigations is currently approved for a 3 year period to 1972-73. In the previous triennium and the current one, Commonwealth assistance through the Special Research Grant and CSIRO funds will total approximately $337,000.

In the event that the locust plague should develop to a major extent that threatens substantial damage to rural production, and the State Government should seek help from the Commonwealth in measures to overcome the insect attack, such request would be considered speedily in the light of the actual circumstances at the time. If, despite all efforts to control these pests, substantial damage results, the Commonwealth would be prepared within the context of the present arrangements for natural disaster relief, to consider any reasonable request from the New South Wales Government for assistance with relief expenditures.

Butter (Question No. 4108)


Mr Grassby asked the Minister for

Primary Industry, upon notice:

(1)   What was the commercial butter producttion (not cheese) in each State in 1969-70.

(2)   What was the (a) consumption of commercial butter in and (b) export of commercial butter from each State in 1969-70.

(3)   What was the butterfat production including commercial butter and butterfat used in manufacturing products, but excluding cheese in each State in 1969-70.

(4)   What was the (a) consumption of butterfat in and (b) export of butterfat from each State in 1969-70.

(5)   What sums were paid to equalisation from each State for (a) commercial butter and. (b) butterfat including commercial butter and butterfat used in manufacturing products, but excluding cheese (i) consumed in Australia and (ii) exported from Australia in 1969-70.

(6)   What was the actual average return per pound of butterfat for anhydrous fat and ghee supplied to SouthEast Asia re-constitution plants in 1969-70.

(7)   What was the amount of butterfat supplied to these plants in 1969-70.


Mr Sinclair - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The commercial butter equivalent of butter, butteroil and ghee produced in each State in 1969-70 was as follows:

 

(2)   (a) Details of consumption of butter are not collated on a State basis by the Commonwealth Statistician. Butter consumption in Australia in 1969-70 was 113,910 tons.

(b)   The commercial butter equivalent of butter, butteroil and ghee exported from each Slate in 1969-70 was as follows:

 

(3)   Butterfat as such is not a product and accordingly statistics are not available for its production either for individual Stales or for Australia as a whole. Butterfat is a basic component of milk and of products made from milk. The figuresas published by the Commonwealth Statistician for the production in 1969-70 of manufactured whole milk products excluding cheese, are set out below. Because of the limited number of factories involved production details for these products on a State basis are not available from

 

(5)   The sums paid to equalisation from each State for commercial butter and butteroil and ghee produced in 1969-70 in respect of sales on the local market and exports are estimated by the Commonwealth Dairy Produce Equalisation Committee Ltd to be:_

 

the Commonwealth Statistician. The approximate butterfat contents of the various products are shown in brackets. The butterfat content of butter is approximately 82 per cent.

 

(4)   Figures are not available for consumption and exports of butterfat. The only figures available from the Commonwealth Statistician for consumption of manufactured full cream dairy products in Australia in 1969-70 are: Butter 113,910 tons and cheese 44,884 tons. Figures for other products have not yet been published.

Exports of manufactured full cream dairy products in 1969-70 on a State basis are as follows:

(6)   In accordance with normal commercial practice the Australian Dairy Produce Board is not prepared to disclose the price details because such commercial information would be of value to the buyers' competitors.

(7)   The amount of butteroil supplied by the Australian Dairy Produce Board in 1969-70 to the milk re-constitution plants with which it is associated, was 4,103 tons.







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