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Tuesday, 6 April 1965

Senator ANDERSON (New South Wales) (Minister for Customs and Excise) . I am grateful to Senator Benn and Senator Scott for their contributions to the debate on the second reading of the Bill. They spoke in general terms rather than about the specific purposes of the legislation. We all recognise that a bounty bill such as this is an example of the Government's intention to encourage diversification of our primary industries. The basic purpose of this measure is to encourage cotton growing in Australia.

The Bill provides for £2 million to be paid as a cotton bounty. The bounty paid last year was of the order of £450,000, As Senator Scott indicated, there is ample provision for an expansion of bounty payments. J mention that because the measure extends the bounty period this year from December to February. It is well to observe that there will be ample money available this financial year for payment of the bounty during that extra period. The only other point of interest is that the expiration of the payment of the bounty will be postponed from 31st December 1968 until 28th February 1969.

It is the object and the hope of the Government that, with the assistance of the bounty, the industry will reach a point where it will no longer need Government assistance. A bounty is, in essence, an encouragement for the establishment of aa industry - in this case, a primary industry. I have every confidence that there is a great future in Australia for economic and sound development of cotton growing.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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

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