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Tuesday, 9 November 1976
Page: 2499

Mr Hodges asked the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs, upon notice:

(   1 ) Are orchids, other flowers and greenery imported into Australia; if so, from which countries.

(2   ) What was the value of these imports in the last 3 financial years.

(3)   Who are the importers.

(4)   What measures are taken to ensure no diseases are introduced and how do quarantine requirements or treatments prior to entry differ from those enforced for fruit and plants.

Mr Howard - The answer to he honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) and (2) The Australian Statistician has advised that he cannot supply particulars of imports of orchids or greenery into Australia because imports of orchids and of greenery are not recorded separately in overseas trade statistics. However, the Statistician has supplied the following information on imports of:

(a)   Cut flowers and buds for ornamental purposes (including orchids) and

(b)   Foliage, branches, etc. for ornamental purposes (including greenery) for the financial years 1973-74, 1974-75 and 1975-76:

(3)   The confidentiality provisions of the Census and Statistics Act precluded the Statistician from supplying any information relating to individual importers.

(4)   The Department of Health has advised that orchid flowers, other cut flowers and greenery, provided they are not capable of propagation, on arrival in Australia are inspected by plant quarantine officers and treated if it is found necessary. In principle equivalent procedures are applicable for fruit. In the case of living plants used for direct propagation, a mandatory fumigation coupled with growing and observation in post entry quarantine is necessary because the quarantine risks are significantly greater.

Increases in Social Security Benefits (Question No. 1351)

Mr Les Johnson (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister, representing the Minister for Social Security, upon notice:

(   1 ) What increases were made in the various social security benefits paid in the years 1973, 1974 and 1975.

(2)   What percentage of average weekly earnings were the benefits after each increase.

(3)   What was the increase in he Consumer Price Index in the relevant period prior to each increase.

Mr Hunt - The Minister for Social Security has provided the following table in answer to the honourable member's question:






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