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Thursday, 29 October 1964

Senator ANDERSON (New South Wales) (Minister for Customs and Excise) [5.42.J - in reply - I thank Senator O'Byrne for his contribution and I am happy to note that the Opposition supports the legislation. Most of his comments related to the economic situation of the settlers on King Island. He made a similar point in the broad during the consideration of the proposed expenditure for the Department of Primary industry. He laid special emphasis on the question of freight. I believe he made the point that to a large degree the financial plight of many of the war service land settlers in Tasmania was due to the burden of freight charges. I think it is appropriate to say that the Commonwealth Government has appointed a departmental inquiry to investigate this problem in relation to King Island. The Departments of Primary Industry, Treasury, Shipping and Transport and, indeed, the Prime Minister's Department, arc represented on that inquiry.

Senator O'Byrnereferred to an investigation made by a committee appointed to examine the problems on King Island. He pressed, as he did a few evenings ago, for the committee's report to be published and action to be taken. It is true that a committee of inquiry into the economic situation took about 18 months to come up with its report. Naturally, the Tasmanian Government examined the report, which finally was referred to the Minister for Primary Industry (Mr. Adermann). I repeat what I said earlier, namely, that consideration of the report by the Department of Primary Industry is well advanced and that as a consequence of that consideration there will need to be a conference between representatives of the Department of Primary Industry and the appropriate Tasmanian department.

Sitting suspended from 5.45 to 8 p.m.

Bill read a second time, and passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate.

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