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Abare figures confirm early forecasts



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ALAN GRIFFITHS MP

DPIE91/292G 20 November 1991

ABARE FIGURES CONFIRM EARLY FORECASTS

The Federal Government recognised the seriousness of the rural situation in the assistance package announced three weeks ago, the Acting Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, Alan Griffiths, said today, responding to preliminary farm survey results released by ABARE.

"The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics' survey findings confirm earlier forecasts of the severity of the downturn," Mr Griffiths said.

"These figures are consistent with the data used in determining the level of additional funding required to support the rural sector."

The rural assistance package included an additional $140m over the next two years: an extra $100m for the Rural Adjustment Scheme (excluding Part C) and $40m to cater for the widened eligibility for social security benefits.

The new social security provisions, which will come into effect on December 1, will extend social security support to farmers assessed by RAS authorities as profitable in the longer term but unable to carry extra debt.

Mr Griffiths said RAS and Social Security officers met in Adelaide yesterday to finalise guidelines for the new social security provisions.

"The Government is aware of the very real difficulties currently being experienced by people living in rural and remote areas of Australia," he said.

"A further review of RAS funding requirements will take place in March/April of next year."

Information: Kristen Barry (06) 277 7480.

Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: (06) 2777480 Fax: (06)2734154

« 20 NOVEMBER.

TO ALL M EDIA:

M R G R IF F IT H S IS CURRENTLY ON A V ISIT TO TH E PILBARA R E G IO N IN W ESTE R N AUSTRALIA.

IF YOU N E E D FU R T H E R COM MENT ON THE ABARE SURVEY, PL E A SE CONTACT TH E M IN ISTER 'S CANBERRA O FFIC E AND ST A FF W ILL PROVIDE YOU W ITH A CONTACT NUM BER IN W E S T E R N AUSTRALIA.

AS T H E M IN IST E R W ILL BE TRAVELLING FO R M UCH O F TODAY, PL E A SE CONTACT THE O FFIC E AS SOON AS POSSIBLE IF YOU N E E D F U R T H E R INFORM ATION.

K R IS T E N BARRY.