Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
'She'll be right' attitude not good enough



Download PDFDownload PDF

121

RALPH HUNT MEDIA

DEPUTY LEADER NATIONAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

144/85

CANBERRA

20 November 1985

'SHE'LL BE RIGHT' ATTITUDE NOT GOOD ENOUGH

The Government could not rely on improved primary industry export

half of the financial year, Shadow Primary Industry Minister,

Mr. Hunt, warned today.

"Specific policy initiatives are required to cut farm production

costs or we will not be able to compete on the tightening world

markets," Mr. Hunt said.

"Between them, the wool and grain export industries earn more

than 20 per cent of export income.

"Wheat stockpiles in Europe and the USA now stand at more than

150 million tonnes, which is 50 per cent more than the total

volume of export wheat traded in 1985-86.

"The Australian Wheat Board will do its best to maintain its

market shares, but prices will be depressed by the huge

'surpluses. Already US export prices are down $20-$30 a tonne

over the past six months to around US$130 today.

"Wool prices initially reflected the devaluation, but since the

Australian dollar began fluctuating in the US 65-70/ range,

export returns have been disappointing.

"The dollar's initial collapse was met with heavy purchases by

■ Japanese buyers, but more recently they have shown a reluctance

to enter the market. Fine wools, particularly, have attracted

lower export returns over the past few weeks.

earnings to pull the nation out of its trade slide in the second

Inquiries: (0 6 2 ) 73 22 93 /72 7419

"Clearly, a 'She'll be right' attitude to our balance-of-payments

problems is not good enough," Mr. Hunt said.

"First priority must be given to a review of the 6.5 per cent

wage increase this year as it affects, primary industries, and a

review of the depressing impact of Mr. Keating's tax package on

farm investment. '

"Specific farm input costs such as fuel, chemicals, machinery and

parts, and export inspection charges could be reduced before 1986

if the Hawke Government was fair dinkum," Mr. Hunt said.