Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 24 March 1927

Senator CRAWFORD(Queensland -

Honorary Minister) [4.32]. - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

The object of this bill is to enable the apple and pear growers of Australia to elect a board which will effectively organize the overseas marketing - particularly in the United Kingdom and the continent - of fresh apples and pears, so that the growers themselves may secure the best possible returns for their products. The lines of the bill are familiar to honorable senators. The boards established for the dried fruits, dairy, and canned fruits industries have done valuable work. The good work done by the Dairy Produce Control Board has resulted in securing stable prices for butter and cheese, and has further effected a saving of £60,000 in freight. There are about 12,000 growers of apples and pears in the Commonwealth, and their dependants number, possibly, 50,000. Competition from American and New Zealand growers has increased in recent years. For instance, last year New Zealand sent 655,000 cases of apples to the United Kingdom. Last year Australia produced 7,270,000 bushel cases of apples, of which 2,968,000 cases were exported to the United Kingdom and 230,000 elsewhere. In 1925 the average price of Australian apples sold in England was about 15s. per case, which was satisfactory, but last year, owing to the dislocation occasioned by the strike in England, the price was only about8s. per case, which is about 4s. under the cost of production. Owing to the depredations of the thrips pest, there will be reduced shipments this year, but it is anticipated that higher prices will prevail. An expert control board is in operation in New Zealand, and in its annual report it states that the valuable information already gained should make it possible to eliminate unnecessary costs, and place the industry on a sound payable basis. The bill provides, as in the case of similar acts, for a poll to be taken before the act can come into operation. Another poll may be taken after a further period of three years, or any further period of three years, to decide whether the act shall continue to operate. The board, which will control the marketing of exports, is to consist of seven members, six of whom are to be elected by the growers, whilst one with commercial experience will be nominated to represent the Government. The board will be financed out of the proceeds of a levy not exceeding1d. a case, and a special bill will be introduced for this purpose. The proceeds of the levy will also be available for advertising purposes abroad. Honorable senators realize that the apple-growers' lot has not been a happy one. The bill will undoubtedly improve their position, as it will enable the producers to set up an efficient organization which it is hoped will place the overseas marketing of apples and pears on a sound basis.

Suggest corrections