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Thursday, 9 December 1976


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

(1)   Has the Australian Dairy Corporation requested the Commonwealth Government for the rights to produce and market a more spreadable butter.

(2)   If so, does this refer to the patent rights jointly held by the Commonwealth and South Australian Governments for a butter/vegetable oil blend; if so, what are the intentions of the Government in this matter; if not, what other power or authority does the Commonwealth possess which is retarding the marketing of more spreadable butter.

(3)   Is there any conflict between Australian and Swedish patents on butter/ vegetable oil blend; if so, is this preventing the early introduction of a blend; if it is causing delay, what is being done to resolve the matter.

(4)   If the Government agrees to the request, how will the Australian Dairy Corporation and the industry initiate and control the introduction and marketing of this product.

(5)   Which States now allow vegetable oil and butter to be blended.


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

(1)   and (2) The Commonwealth and South Austraiian Government jointly hold a patent for a butter/vegetable oil spread. Discussions are continuing between the two Governments and with the Australian Dairy Corporation on arrangements that will enable products of this type to be made and marketed in Australia and to find a place in the consumers ' overall demand for spreads.

(3)   It is understood that a Swedish firm claims that there could be some degree of overlap between the patent mentioned above and one held by them. The Swedish patent is the earlier. I am not in a position to pronounce upon the validity of the patents held by the Swedish firm nor about whether their patent and the Australian patent do in fact conflict.

(4)   ADC is currently making an appreciation of the possiblities and prospects for butter/vegetable oil mixtures in Australia

(5)   All States except New South Wales.







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