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Wednesday, 16 September 1942

Senator FRASER (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - The Minister for Commerce has supplied the following answers : -

1.   Recently the Acting Commonwealth Statistician obtained returns from dairyfarmers and butter factory managers regarding production, man-power and fodder in the dairying industry. From the completed returns received ithas been ascertained that -

(a)   some large dairy farms have been closed down in New South Wales, but specific information regarding the numbers in the Casino district is not readily available;

(b)   approximately 1.000 dairy farms in New South Wales are idle or have been diverted to other forms of production ;

(c)   the reasons for the closing down of these farms are not always apparent, but it is known that in some instances dairy-farmers and members of their families, and also employees, have been attracted to other avenues of employment by the higher remuneration offered.

2.   The Government took action in connexion with this matter some months ago, and appointed a committee of inquiry to investigate conditions within the dairying industry. The report of the committee is at present being considered.

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