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Monday, 24 May 1965

Senator HANNAFORD (South Australia) . - I add my voice to support previous speakers and particularly Senator Laught. It is a matter of importance to

South Australia that the pyrites industry at Nairne and at Port Pirie should be able to carry on. In the past few years there has been great development in the use of superphosphate no doubt because a bounty has been granted on superphosphate to graziers and other primary producers who use this fertiliser. The companies engaged in the production of superphosphate in Adelaide have amalgamated to produce sulphuric acid from the Nairne pyrites field. A very big industry has been established. The companies are the Adelaide Chemical & Fertiliser Company Ltd. Wallaroo-Mount Lyell Fertilisers Ltd., Cresco Fertilisers Ltd. and Broken Hill Associated Smelters Pty. Ltd.

A fine township has been built at Nairne. Plant which has been established at considerable cost to the companies is in operation at Port Adelaide. Considerable expenditure has been undertaken by the companies and the industry in South Australia would suffer a severe setback if the bounty were terminated abruptly. It is pleasing that the Tariff Board is considering the question and I hope that ways and means will be found to extend the bounty so that continued treatment of Australian material will be possible for the production of a commodity which is essential to primary production. The Bill provides for an extension of the bounty for six months. This will give the Tariff Board time to examine the question. I hope the payment of the bounty will be continued so that Australian production of sulphuric acid which is essential in the production of superphosphate will be preserved.

The companies concerned have stepped up production in South Australia from 65,825 tons to an estimated output this year of 100,000 tons. This reflects the increase in the use of superphosphate. So far as I can ascertain, this is an efficient industry. Although brimstone is more easily available now, in the long run the maintenance of this industry which uses indigenous materials will be to the benefit of Australia.

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