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Monday, 24 May 1965

Senator KENNELLY (Victoria) .- The Processed Milk Products Bounty Bill seeks to amend the Processed Milk Products Bounty Act 1962-64 to provide for the bounty to continue for a further two years. The first Bill relating to this matter was introduced in 1962 and for the year 1962-63 the amount of bounty paid was £350,000. The legislation was amended in 1963-64 and the bounty payment increased to £500,000. However, the bounty paid in 1964-65 fell to £400,000. The Act provides that the bounty payable on processed milk products will be no greater than that paid as a bounty on butter as provided in the Dairying Industry Act 1962. In his second reading speech the Minister said that the reason for the reduction of the bounty from £500,000 to £400,000 was that in the year when £500,000 was allocated as the bounty the sum of £60,000 was unexpended. The amount paid to the processors was 7.96d. per lb. which equalled the amount of bounty paid on butter fat.

I understand that the bounty was introduced so that we could help the processors of these milk products to compete with products from overseas which also receive a bounty. Therefore, it is interesting to note that the bounty has helped greatly in expanding exports of processed milk products. In his speech the Minister said that exports rose from 3,850 tons in 1961-62 to nearly 6,500 tons in 1964-65, an increase of 68 per cent. In addition, exports for the first six months of this year show a further increase. This, of course, is helping our balance of payments. It is expected that for this year the export income earned by these products will amount to £10 million.

The foods on which bounty is paid are sweetened and unsweetened condensed milk, full cream powdered milk and infants' and invalids' foods. The Bill provides for the payment of another bounty to the dairying industry so that the Australian industry can compete on overseas markets. The Opposition raises no objection to the passage of the Bill.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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

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