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Tuesday, 16 November 1976

Mr Simon asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice:

(1)   What corporations, whether statutory, public or private, or individuals or firms in Australia completed sales of butter to Europe between 1 July 1975 and 30 September 1976.

(2)   What were the quantities in grades and the price therefor in respect of these sales.

(3)   In respect of each completed sale referred to in part ( 1 ), who fixed the commission, to whom was it paid, and what was the amount of commission in respect of each sale.

(4)   Were the sales f.o.b.; if not, on what basis were they made.

(5)   Were adjustments made; if so, what adjustments were made after completion of each sale.

(6)   Did the sales, or any of them, cause the 1 974-7S butter equalisation pool to return any sum less than that which would have been returned had the sales not been brought into account; if so, what sum was thereby lost, or what was the sum by which the pool was reduced.

(7)   When did the Australian Dairy Corporation first submit its Dairy Industry Plan, when was the Plan first proposed, and at whose request was the Plan prepared.

(8)   What is the estimated cost of the preparation of the Plan to date.

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

(   1 ) The former Australian Dairy Produce Board and subsequently the Australian Dairy Corporation.

(2)   Choice grade salted butter- 10 800 tonnes; first grade salted butter- 9000 tonnes; choice grade unsalted but- ter-10 050 tonnes.

Sales of salted butter were on the basis of mixed quantities of choice and first grade qualities for which only the overall price to the buyer is available. Quantities and prices for these sales were:

(i)   3300 tonnes at $565 per tonne f.o.b.

(ii)   5000 tonnes at $593 per tonne f.o.b.

(iii)   1000 tonnes at $652 per tonne f.o.b.

(iv)   7800 tonnes at $626 per tonne f.o.b.

(v)   2700 tonnes at $626 per tonne f.o.b.

Quantities and prices for sales of unsalted butter (all choice grade) were:

(i)   2250 tonnes at $667 per tonne f.o.b.

(ii)   4650 tonnes at $7 1 7 per tonne f.o.b.

(iii)   3 150 tonnes at $754 per tonne f.o.b

(3)   Commission rates on sales referred to in part ( I ) were determined by negotiation between the Australian Dairy Corporation and the Commonwealth Dairy Produce Equalisation Committee Limited and paid to the manufacturer or the manufacturer's agent. Rates of Commission were $39.95 per tonne on all sales of salted butter, and on the sales of unsalted butter as listed in part (2), $30 per tonne for sales (i) and (ii) and $25 per tonne on sale (iii).

(4)   All sales were on an f.o.b. basis.

(5)   The normal allowances established by the Commonwealth Dairy Produce Equalisation Committee Limited applied to all sales.

(6)   The existing equalisation arrangements are voluntary and are administered by the Commonwealth Dairy Produce Equalisation Committee Limited (CDPEC Ltd), a private company established by the participants in equalisation. As the 1974-75 butter pool has not been wound up at this stage, it is not possible to be specific as to the effect of the sales made to Europe on the pool as a whole.

(7)   The Board of the Australian Dairy Corporation decided in October 1975 to draw up a stabilsation plan for industry marketing and revenue distribution arrangements because of the parlous position of many dairy producers and in the light of the inability of the industry itself to develop such a plan. The Plan was submitted to the industry for consideration in January 1976.

(   8) As the Plan was prepared by the staff of the Australian Dairy Corporation in conjunction with the other responsibilities and activities of the Corporation, it is not possible to provide a reliable estimate of the cost.

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