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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4569


Mr Kirwan (FORREST, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice:

(1)   How many farms allocated in Western Australia to War Service Land Settlement were (a) established, (b) project and (c) single unit.

(2)   How many 600-700 acre pasture project area farms are west of Mount Barker.

(3)   What is the average rental for (a) a wheat and sheep farm and (b) a 600-700 acre pasture project farm west of Mount Barker.

(4)   What has been the average gross return pex annum for the period 1960-1968 from (a) wheat and sheep farm and (b) a project farm west of Mount Barker.

(5)   How many settlers failed for financial reasons in (a) wheat arid sheep area and (b) the project areas of Mount Barker.

(6)   If a larger percentage of the failures was from the project areas, can he say why this occurred when all settlers were selected on the basis of eligibility, suitability and qualifications as settlers.

(7)   Was it the policy of the War Service Land Settlement to force settlers on project farms west of Mount Barker to breed fat lambs on oestrogen dominant clover pasture, e.g. yarloop, and did the Rural and Industries Bank also adopt this policy.

(8)   During the assessment period on project farms west of Mount Barker, was it the administration or the settler who was responsible for the farm policy on individual farms in regard to type of stock carried. tv) Are the 600-700 acre pasture project area farms west of Mount 'Barker still considered a viable and economic unit.

(10)   If so, why is the Rural Reconstruction Committee allocating extra adjoining farms to some settlers.


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

War Service Land Settlement in Western Australia was conducted initially under an agreement between the Commonwealth and the State and subsequently through grants of financial assistance to the State subject to defined conditions.

Under these arrangements the Commonwealth's role was mainly concerned wilh policy formation and the provision of finance. The detailed administration of the scheme was carried out by the State through a Land Settlement Board. This Board ceased to function as from 31 August, 1966.

Commonwealth records, therefore, are not as detailed as would be necessary to answer all the questions asked. The State, at the present time, is unable to assist.

In these circumstances the best information available in answer to the honourable member's question is:

(1)   Statistics are not maintained in a form which would enable this information to bc readily ascertained.

(2)   125 farms.

(3)   (a) not available.

(b)   Rocky Gully Project- $404 per half year.

Perillup Project - $414 per half year. Denbarker Project - $436 per half year. (4.)-(6) Information not available.

(7)   Pastures were seeded to plant species laid down by the Stale Department of Agriculture. The seeding of the farms west of Mount Barker took place years before Yarloop clover was suspected of causing infertility problems. Only the low wet areas were seeded to a mixture containing Yarloop and on an average would involve only 50 or 60 acres with a few up to 150 to 200 acres of a 50 per cent mixture.

Settlers were not forced to breed fat. lambs but were actively encouraged to diversify by both the Board and the Bank.

(8)   The settler, but availability frequently dictated the type of stock carried.

(9)   Commonwealth officers have not the information as to the present carrying capacity of each farm and so are unable to express an opinion.

(10)   The Rural Reconstruction Committee does not allocate farms, lt provides financial assistance under certain circumstances to those who require to expand for various reasons. I have been informed that no settlers in the Rocky Gully, Perillup or Denbarker projects have been assisted to purchase adjoining farms.







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