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Wednesday, 2 October 1974
Page: 1580

Senator WALSH (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) -Has the Minister for Agriculture seen a report in last Saturday's 'Australian' according to which the Deputy Leader of the Australian Country Party, Mr Sinclair, alleged, inter alia, that devaluation would increase gross farm income by approximately $150m whereas someone whom Mr Sinclair called a Government spokesman had claimed that the increase would be $500m? Is there any truth in either of Mr Sinclair's allegations?

Senator WRIEDT - I did make a statement to the effect that the increase in the income in the rural sector as a result of devaluation would be in the vicinity of $2 50m to $300m. I have not seen any estimates of the order of either $150m or $500m. I have no idea where those estimates could possibly have come from. My figures are based on estimates made by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics which I think would be the most authoritative body in this country to make such an estimate. Mr Sinclair has a habit of shooting from the hip and saying things which tend to be a bit outlandish. The only time that he is not generous in his statements is when he is asked to make promises about restoring the socalled benefits taken away from the farmers by this Government.

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