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Wednesday, 23 September 1936

Senator COLLINGS (Queensland) . - It is with a great deal of pleasure that I notice that the sum of £17,500 is to be made available for the purchase of a vessel for the development of the fishing industry. This industry is not being exploited in a manner worth while at the present time. In yesterday's issue of the Daily Telegraph it is pointed out that at least £1,000,000 a year is expended in the importation from New Zealand, South Africa, Japan and other countries of canned fish of kinds which we already possess in our own waters. Though they contain greater numbers of fish than any other part of the waters surrounding the Australian coast, the far northern coastal waters of Queensland are not being adequately exploited.

Senator HERBERT Hays - Why is that field not exploited by private or governmental enterprise ?

Senator COLLINGS - I am not interested in that phase of the matter except to the extent that I believe that the Government should undertake the development of our fishing resources. That, however, is contrary to Government policy, I rose merely to emphasize the importance, of this matter. The following article appeared in the Sydney Daily Telegraph yesterday under the most appropriate title " Catching our own fish":- !

Although Australians are a seaboard people, the 13 lb. of fish they cat per head annually is only about one-fourth of the Japanese quota and one-third of the British.

Meat is cheap and fish is dear.

I am particularly pleased that the Government is making a start towards the development of this industry. I understand that fisheries experts are on their way to Australia from Great Britain, and that officers of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research are abroad investigating the possibilities of the successful establishment of the industry in Australia. There can be no doubt that the development of the fishing industry in Australia will be a step in the direction of making this country more self contained.

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