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Prime minister must respond on grain harvesters



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.MEDIA RELEASE

PRIME MINISTER MUST RESPOND ON GRAIN HARVESTERS

(Statement by the H o n . D.T. McVeigh, Shadow Minister for Primary Industry)

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T h e P r i m e M i n i s t e r ' s h o u l d i m m e d i a t e l y r e s p o n d to a 1 7 - p o i n t s u b m i s s i o n p u t to h i m l a s t w e e k b y t h e A u s t r a l i a n W h e a t g r o w e r s F e d e r a t i o n o n t h e 15 p e r c e n t t a r i f f o n i m p o r t e d g r a i n h a r v e s t e r s , t h e O p p o s i t i o n s p o k e s m a n o n P r i m a r y I n d u s t r y , M r T o m M c V e i g h s a i d t o d a y . . ..

" T h e G o v e r n m e n t m u s t a c k n o w l e d g e t h a t i t s o r i g i n a l d e c i s i o n of 5 A u g u s t w a s a b a d o n e , a n d r u n s c o n t r a r y to i t s s t a t e d p h i l o s o p h i e s o f p r e f e r e n c e f o r b o u n t y a s s i s t a n c e r a t h e r t h a n t a r i f f a s s i s t a n c e " , M r M c V e i g h s a i d .

T h e W h e a t g r o w e r s F e d e r a t i o n h a d p u t f o r w a r d t o t h e P r i m e M i n i s t e r a n d to a l l C a b i n e t M i n i s t e r s c o m p e l l i n g r e a s o n s w h y t h e d e c i s i o n m u s t b e r e v e r s e d . v .

" F o r e x a m p l e , t h e y h a v e p o i n t e d o u t t h a t t h e i m p a c t o f t h e d e c i s i o n w i l l r e d u c e g r a i n , g r o w e r s * p r o f i t a b i l i t y b y b e t w e e n 10 a n d 20 p e r c e n t ; t h a t t h e t a r i f f w i l l c o s t t h e i n d u s t r y a b o u t $ 1 4 m i l l i o n a y e a r , w h e r e a s a b o u n t y w o u l d c o s t o n l y $2 m i l l i o n ; a n d t h a t ' t h e t a r i f f r e s u l t s i n t h e i n d u s t r y b e a r i n g a n a d d i t i o n a l c o s t o f a r o u n d $ 5 6 , 0 0 0 f o r e a c h d i r e c t e m p l o y e e i n t h e m a n u f a c t u r e o f h a r v e s t e r s , w h e r e a s a b o u n t y w o u l d c o s t o n l y s o m e $ 8 , 0 0 0 p e r d i r e c t e m p l o y e e . '

" T h e s u b m i s s i o n n e e d s u r g e n t a c t i o n b y t h e P r i m e M i n i s t e r .

" T h e G o v e r n m e n t m u s t r e c o g n i s e t h e h a r m t h e t a r i f f d e c i s i o n is c a u s i n g t h e g r a i n s i n d u s t r y , a n d i t i s h i g h t i m e t h e M i n i s t e r f o r P r i m a r y I n d u s t r y b e g a n d e m o n s t r a t i n g h i s i n f l u e n c e i n * C a b i n e t , i f i n f a c t h e h a s a n y " , M r M c V e i g h s a i d .

C A N B E R R A ,

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