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Tuesday, 6 April 1965

Senator PALTRIDGE - I am not able to answer the honorable senator's question as to what has been done by way of making a survey of drought cycles. I will refer the question to the Minister in charge of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation or to the Minister for National Development, who may be able to gather some information from the State departments which are responsible for this sort of work. This is not a Commonwealth responsibility; it is a State responsibility. I have no doubt that within the records of the States there is some evidence of what the honorable senator refers to as drought cycles. If that information can be obtained, I will ask that it be given to him.

The honorable senator also asked about the possibility of what he termed a national fodder conservation scheme. Again, this is a responsibility of the State Governments. Whether any State Government has undertaken fodder conservation depends upon the quality of the Government concerned. I know that from time to time some State Governments have done so. I do not know whether anything in this regard has been done in New South Wales, but probably not.

Senator Cavanagh - Now the Minister is playing State politics.

Senator PALTRIDGE - The honorable senator realises that in the first hour of our daily meetings he, more than anyone else, attempts to play politics. I think that what I have said answers the question that has been asked.

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