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Commonwealth fodder subsidy cut-off date under review



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(Statement by the Hon. T. McVeigh, on Primary Industry). MP, Opposition spokesman

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COMMONWEALTH FODDER SUBSIDY CUT-OFF DATE UNDER REVIEW.

I am pleased the Prime Minister has indicated today

to the Victorian Farmers and Graziers Association that the Commonwealth fodder subsidy scheme may be continued beyond the proposed cut-off date of June 30.

It appears the Prime Minister has at last recognised that the decision to end the scheme, as well as the interest subsidy scheme, as announced last week by the acting Minister for Primary Industry, Senator Walsh, is totally contrary to very

specific undertakings given during and since the election campaign

However, Mr.Hawke should also have said he would review the proposed September 30 cut-off date for the interest subsidy. The Coalition undertook to continue this subsidy for 12 months beyond the lifting of drought declarations. This was specifically to help farmers plan ahead in the post drought period with some

confidence and certainty.

The to-ing and fro-ing by the Labor Government, coupled with the recent ' intemperate statements about farmers by Senator Walsh and Mr. Bowen, graphically demonstrate that Labor has absolutely no understanding at all of the needs of Australia's

primary industries.

Labor has been creating massive uncertainty and

concern for primary producers at a time when they desperately need reassurance and sympathetic consideration from government.

CANBERRA.

June 28, 1983.