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Hawke must back dairy plan



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RALPH HUNT MEDIA

DEPUTY LEADER NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

21/85

HAWKE MUST BACK DAIRY PLAN

Shadow Minister for Primary Industry, Mr Hunt, called tonight for

the Prime Minister, Mr Hawke, to support the agreement reached late

today between all State Governments on the dairy industry's national

marketing plan.

Mr Hunt said the Federal Cabinet now had its best-ever chance to

settle the marketing issue.

"I call on Mr Hawke to show a statesmanlike approach to this

watershed decision.

"He must now take the matter out of the hands of his Minister for

Primary Industry, Mr Kerin, who has shown a total inability to face

up to realities and accept the consequences of his hard-line attitudes.

"Mr Hawke's support must be given tonight or early tomorrow.

"To fail to do so would be to condemn Labor Party candidates to the

last square on voters' ballot papers around Victoria in Saturday's

election."

Mr Hunt said today's agreement between the States on the key elements

of the Australian Dairy Industry Conference plan wrapped up more than

12 months' negotiations between industry groups.

The plan was a genuine attempt by the industry to come to grips with

the problems of oversupply on world markets.

"The State Governments recognise the problems, and it is pleasing the

Victorian Government has come to its senses, making concessions in

an admirable manner.

Inquiries: (0 6 2 ) 7 3 2 2 9 3 /7 2 7419

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"Should Mr Hawke's immediate support not be forthcoming then every

Victorian affected by the dairy industry should send him a telegram

tomorrow.

"The industry cannot go on like it is much longer.

"For more than two years dairy farmers have had no rise in the price

of manufactured dairy products.

"This rigid freeze has not applied to any of the unions or other sectors

in Australia, and how the Hawke Labor Government can go on defending

an indefinite price freeze is beyond commonsense and justice," Mr Hunt

said.

CANBERRA

28 February 1985