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Wednesday, 5 December 1973
Page: 2446


Senator LAUCKE - I desire to direct a question to the Minister for Primary Industry. In view of the serious damage caused by storm and tempest to rural industries in South Australia in recent days, as a result of which some cereal growing areas have suffered crop losses of up to 90 per cent, with the barley loss being estimated by the General Manager of the South Australian Branch of the Australian Barley Board to be between 3 million and 4 million bushels, and with estimates of losses in some cases of up to 90 per cent of fruit crops, will the Minister institute inquiries into the situation with a view to affording financial relief in cases of individual hardship?


Senator WRIEDT - Of course, it is not new for primary producers to take out a cover against certain storms, and so on. It is my understanding that this method of protecting crops has not been popular amongst primary producers; it seems that most of them are prepared to accept the hazards that are normally associated with farming, in respect of the elements, anyway. I would not be averse to looking at the matter raised by the honourable senator. It would not, of course, be new for primary producers to take out cover, as I have indicated. I hope that possibly some type of scheme could be brought forward whereby assistance could be provided. The honourable senator made specific references to cases where losses have occurred. The question of whether assistance is warranted in view of the losses sustained is one, of course, for Government determination. I will be prepared to look at cases in my own general area. The Government would need to have submissions made to it from the industries affected before it could actually consider the specific cases.







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