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Thursday, 25 October 1973
Page: 2766


Dr PATTERSON - It is a pity that the honourable member for Wimmera (Mr King), who has just spoken in the debate, did not confine his remarks to the substance of the Bill. For that matter it is a pity the honourable member for Corangamite (Mr Street) also did not do the same. The involvement of the State and Australian governments and the industry in a weevil eradication campaign has nothing to do with this Bill. This is a research Bill. That has nothing to do with this Bill.


Mr Street - The storage of grain is part of a research Bill.


Dr PATTERSON - Yes, it is, but this is a particular, specialised job that was worked out between the Agricultural Council and the industry and has nothing to do with the Bill. However, let me say that it is true that State entomologists have indicated that there is a definite resistance to malathion and there has been a definite build up of the insect population. This is the basis for this campaign. In fact, the Minister for Primary Industry (Senator Wriedt) has sent a message to State Ministers informing them of the decision of the Government and why the Government will not contribute the $lm which has been requested. The Minister will discuss this matter with the State Ministers at the Agricultural Council meeting next Friday and I have no doubt that he will give the Ministers the reasons for this decision. There are 2 points regarding this matter that I think should be mentioned. State governments, through the bulk handling authorities, traditionally have looked after this matter for a very long time and will continue to look after it for a very long time. The responsibility for weavil control and infestation of grain on the farms is 100 per cent the responsibility of the farmer. Let us not forget, of course, that this does not mean that there will not be efforts made to assist him. However, let us not forget those 2 fundamental aspects of the situation.

The point of substance with respect to this Bill raised by the honourable member for Corangamite (Mr Street), who is at the table, and one or two other honourable members is: What would happen if in fact the operative levy were increased above 11c? The machinery of this situation would be that the Australian Wheatgrowers Federation would examine the matter and write a report to the Minister for Primary Industry who would examine the recommendation and then take the matter to the GovernorGeneral. If the Governor General agreed to an increase there would be an increase and the Australian Government would match the funds necessary for that increase. So, there is no question about that; the Government will continue to match industry contributions towards the cost of wheat research. This is the machinery of the matter. Of course, it would work in reverse also. If the Australian Wheatgrowers Federation wanted to reduce the operative levy, the same thing would apply but the contribution of the Australian Government would be reduced. Honourable members can appreciate that the Minister for Primary Industry cannot reduce or increase the operative levy unless he has a recommendation from the Wheatgrowers Federation. So, there it is, I think that answers the question. I do not want to take the time of the House any longer. That was the substance of the question and I think that I have answered it.

Motion (by Mr Daly) agreed to:

That the question be now put.

Original question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! Is it the wish of the House to proceed to the third reading forthwith?


Mr Giles - That is a lousy idea, Mr Speaker. I should like to debate the third reading, if this is the proper occasion to do so.

Motion (by Mr Daly) proposed:

That the question be now put.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! The Minister has not sought leave to proceed to the third reading.


Mr Street - Mr Speaker, I take a point of order. I understood you to say a moment ago that the Minister for Northern Development was not winding up the debate. On that understanding, the honourable member for Angas did not rise to speak. But now it turns out that the Minister apparently was closing the debate. I think it is quite reasonable for the honourable member for Angas to seek an opportunity to speak on the third reading.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! A motion was moved 'that the question be now put', and that was carried. That concluded the debate on the second reading. The Minister now is seeking leave to move the third reading forthwith.


Dr Patterson - I might make the point that I did not move the original motion, so Mr Speaker was quite right in what he said. I seek leave of the House to move the third reading forthwith.







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