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Appointments to the Australian Pig Industry Research Committee



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MEDIA RELEASEMINISTER FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRYCANBERRAAPI 85/14 8 February 1985Appointments to theAustralian Pig Industry Research CommitteeThe Acting Minister for Primary Industry, Mr John Brown, today announced appointments to the Australian Pig Industry Research Committee for terms commencing 10 February 1985.Members of the Committee will be:REPRESENTING THE AUSTRALIAN PORK PRODUCERS' FEDERATIONMr GR Baker Mr NJ Maughan Mr DG Hinton Mr B MuirheadMr RJ Lienert Dr RH WilsonREPRESENTING THE AUSTRALIAN AGRICULTURAL COUNCIL Dr JW McLaughlin Dr GE RobardsREPRESENTING CSIRO *Dr LC LloydREPRESENTING UNIVERSITIES Professor DR LindsayThe term of the present Chairman of the Committee, Mr GE Pettit, who represents the Commonwealth Department of Primary Industry, does not expire until later in 1985.With the exception of Dr GE Robards, all those appointed are presently members of the Committee. Mr Brown expressed appreciation on behalf of himself and the Minister for Primary Industry Mr John Kerin who is overseas, for the valuable service given by the retiring Australian Agricultural Council (AAC) representative, Mr JW Ryley, who has represented the AAC on the Committee since the inaugural meeting in 1971.The Committee makes recommendations each year to the Minister of Primary Industry regarding expenditure from the Pig Industry Research Trust Account for programs of research in the pig meat industry. The Pig Industry Research Trust Account supported 45 research projects throughout Australia in 1984/85. The approved expenditure from the Pig Industry Research Trust Account in 1984/85 was $1,203,388.Contact: Walter Pearson (062) 726649

V OPENING ADDRESS TO THE 121ST MEETING OF THE < AUSTRALIAN AGRICULTURAL COUNCIL, MELBOURNE/ II FEBRUARY 1985. RV THF HON JOHN KERIN. MP, MINISTER FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRY

GENTLEMEN

I WOULD LIKE TO OPEN THIS MEETING OF COUNCIL AND, IN SO DOING, EXTEND A WARM WELCOME TO THE NEW NORTHERN TERRITORY MINISTER, STEVE HATTON. I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO WELCOME MIKE GOULD WHO IS RESPRESENT1NG THE NEW ZEALAND MINISTER, COLIN MOYLE. THE PNG MINISTER, RABBIE NAMALIU, HAS SENT HIS APOLOGIES.

AS YOU MAY BE AWARE, I HAVE ONLY JUST RETURNED FROM A TRIP , OVERSEAS, WHERE I HAD DISCUSSIONS WITH THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY ON ITS AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION AND TRADE POLICIES. I WANT T O TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TODAY TO BRIEF YOU ON THE RESULTS OF THAT TRIP BUT, BEFORE DOING SO, I THINK IT IS WORTH RECAPPING ON THE PROSPECTS FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRIES IN 1985 AND 86.

PUT SIMPLY. WE ARE IN FOR A TOUGH COUPLE OF YEARS. THE LEVELS OF STOCKS AROUND THE WORLD ARE SIMPLY TOO HIGH FOR US TO SEE MUCH UPWARD MOVEMENT IN PRICES BEFORE THE END OF NEXT YEAR.

NO DOUBT WE'RE ALL GOING TO HEAR THE WORD "CRISIS" BANDIED ABOUT A LOT - PROBABLY EVEN TODAY. BUT IF WE LOOK BACK OVER THE PAST FEW DECADES WE FIND THAT CALLS OF "CRISIS" BY SPECIFIC INDUSTRIES HAVE BEEN RECURRING EVENTS, JUST LIKE D R O U G H T , FLOOD AND FIRE.

CERTAINLY, MANY AREAS OF AGRICULTURE ARE NOW AT A TURNING POINT AS THE CRIES OF "CRISIS* SUGGEST. BUT AS BEFORE, THESE INDUSTRIES WILL SURVIVE AND PROSPER AGAIN.

HOWEVER, TO DO THAT, RURAL INDUSTRIES WILL HAVE TO CHANGE THEIR SHAPE AND SIZE. MOREOVER, NOT ONLY IS CHANGE INEVITABLE BUT THERE'S NOT A LOT THAT GOVERNMENTS CAN DO TO LOWER THE PRESSURES WHICH ARE FORCING CHANGE. AND THIS IS NOT JUST AN AUSTRALIAN PHENOMENON. *

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IN THE EEC AT THE END OF THE 1950'S THERE WERE SOME 20 MILLION FARMERS. TODAY, DESPITE MASSIVE GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION, THERE ARE ABOUT 6 MILLION. IN THE UNITED STATES, WHERE GOVERNMENT HAS INTERVENED MASSIVELY IN AGRICULTURE, FARMERS' DEBT LEVELS HAVE RISEN CONSIDERABLY.

THE PICTURE WE FACE IS NOT A PRETTY ONE AND THERE IS NO POINT IN BEING ANYTHING BUT REALISTIC ABOUT IT. GROSS AGRICULTURAL SUBSIDISATION BY THE INDUSTRIAL GIANTS CONTINUES, OUR RURAL SECTOR REMAINS SIGNIFICANTLY EXPOSTED ON INTERNATIONAL MARKETS,

THERE IS THE LIKELIHOOD THAT PARTS OF AUSTRALIA WILL EXPERIENCE MORE NORMAL SEASONAL CONDITIONS, QUICK-FIX SOLUTIONS TO OUR PROBLEMS DON'T EXIST AND ATTEMPTS TO FIND THEM PROBABLY ENSURE THAT WE INSTITUTIONALISE THE BARRIERS TO GROWTH.

IN MY VIEW, WE HAVE TO RECOGNISE THE LIMITS OF GOVERNMENT AND ADDRESS THOSE AREAS WHERE PROGRESS CAN BE MADE TOWARDS SECURING A MORE PROSPEROUS RURAL SECTOR IN THE IN THE LONG TERM. FOR INSTANCE, MY GOVERNMENT WILL CONTINUE TO PUSH HARD ON THE

INTERNATIONAL FRONT. AND, THAT BRINGS ME TO MY RECENT VISIT TO BRUSSELS WITH THE PRIME MINISTER.

QUITE SIMPLY, OUR OBJECTIVE WAS TO PUT FIRMLY TO THE NEW COMMISSION AND PRESIDENT DELORS OUR SERIOUS CONCERNS ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF THE COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY ON AUSTRALIA.

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OUR APPROACH WAS BASED ON FIRM BUT RATIONAL ARGUMENT RATHER THAN OPEN BELLIGERENCE BECAUSE WE BELIEVE THAT FACT TO FACE CONSULTATION CAN IMPROVE THE PROSECTS FOR PROGRESS. AFTER TWO DAYS OF DISCUSSIONS MANY FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCES IN TERMS OF THE TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO AGRICULTURAL POLICY HAD BEEN AIRED.

IN THIS RESPECT, I BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED SOME SUCCESS. OF COURSE IT WOULD BE MISLEADING TO IMPLY THAT THE DECISION MAKERS ARE ABOUT TO ALTER COURSE RADICALLY, GIVEN THEIR DETERMINATION TO FOLLOW A PATH OF SUBSIDY AND REGULATION. BUT I BELIEVE WE HAVE ADDED TO THEIR AWARENESS OF THIRD COUNTRY CONCERNS OVER THE DISRUPTIVE EFFECTS ON CAP.

WE RE-EMPHASISED OUR SUPPORT FOR RENEWED AND MEANINGFUL MULTILATERAL TRADE NEGOTIATIONS INCLUDING AGRICULTURE, AND MADE IT CLEAR THAT AUSTRALIA IS ORIENTING ITS DOMESTIC POLICIES ' TOWARDS MARKET LIBERALISATION RATHER THAN PROTECTIONISM.

I HELD DETAILED DISCUSSIONS ON A RANGE OF CURRENT COMMODITY ISSUES WITH COMMISSIONER ANDRIESSEN AND SENIOR EEC AGRICULTURAL AND TRADE OFFICIALS. FOLLOWING THE DISCUSSIONS BETWEEN THE PRIME MINISTER AND PRESIDENT DELORS, I WAS ALSO ABLE TO OBTAIN ASSURANCES ON BEEF FROM COMMISSIONER ANDRIESSEN THAT, QUOTE,

THE COMMISSION WOULD REFRAIN IN THE PRESENT OR FORESEEABLE CIRCUMSTANCES, FROM APPLYING EXPORT REFUNDS OR FROM INTRODUCING ARRANGEMENTS FOR SALES OUT OF INTERVENTION STOCKS AT SPECIAL CONDITIONS FOR EXPORTS TO

COUNTRIES IN EAST ASIA TO WHICH THE EC DID NOT AT PRESENT APPLY EXPORT SUBSIDIES AND TO WHICH AUSTRALIA IN RECENT YEARS HAD ACHIEVED SUBSTANTIAL BEEF EXPORTS.

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WE OBTAINED THOSE ASSURANCES IN THE SHADOW OF REDUCED EEC BEEF SURPLUSES WHICH ARE INCREASINGLY COSTLY TO STORE AND HAVE LED TO REDUCED EXPORTS BY THE COMMUNITY OF SOME 850,000 TONNES LAST YEAR. WITHOUT THE ASSURANCE, WE BELIEVE THAT THE EEC WOULD

INEVITABLY HAVE INCREASED EXPORT SUBSIDIES AND ALONG WITH THEM THE TEMPTATION TO EXPAND MARKET OUTLETS IN EAST ASIA. QUITE > CLEARLY, ANY EXPANSION INTO EAST ASIAN MARKETS WOULD BE DISASTROUS FOR THE AUSTRALIAN BEEF INDUSTRY.

THE AUSTRALIAN DELEGATION ALSO RAISED WITH THE COMMISSION SPECIFIC MARKT PROBLEMS IN REGARD TO WHEAT, BARLEY. SUGAR, SHEEPMEAT, WINE AND FRUIT. WHILE MEASURED PROGRESS ON EACH WAS

NOT ACHIEVED THE DISCUSSION HELPED TO CLARIFY TO THE COMMISSION OUR SHORT AND LONG TERM OBJECTIVE IN THESE AREAS.DETAILED EXAMINATION OF OUTSTANDING PROGRAMS PARTICULARLY WITH REGARD TO THE ARRANGEMENTS TO REDUCE THE IMPACT IN AUSTRALIA OF EEC SUBSIDIED CHEESE EXPORTS AND THE WIDER MATTER OF DISRUPTION OF BARLEY AND MALT MARKETS, WILL BE PURSUED BY OFFICIALS.

THE LACK OF TRANSPARENCY OF THE CAP IS TYPIFIED BY THESE TWO ISSUES BUT I AM HOPEFUL THAT WE CAN GAIN A SATISFACTORY SOLUTION TO THE OUTSTANDING INDUSTRY COMPLAINTS. GOVERNMENT ACTION IN THESE AREAS WILL DEPEND ON THE COURSE OF EVENTS IN THE IMMEDIATE FUTURE.

ON SUGAR, WE DID PUT THE VIEW FORWARD THAT A MEETING OF PRODUCERS FROM MAJOR EXPORTING COUNTRIES MAY BE A MEANS OF MOVING TOWARDS GREATER CO-OPERATION AND MORE ORDERLY MARKETING. IT IS A FIRST STEP WHICH WE HOPE WILL BE WORTH THE EFFORT IN BRINGING ABOUT A BETTER MARKET BALANCE AND HEIGHTENING SENSITIVITIES OF THOSE COUNTRIES SUBSIDISING THEIR EXPORTS.

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1 PLAN TO GO TO WASHINGTON NEXT MONTH TO GET A FIRST HAND APPRECIATION OF THE LIKELY DIRECTION OF THE UNITED STATES FARM BILL AND TO MAKE OUR VIEWS KNOWN. GIVEN THE POSSIBILITY OF A REDUCTION IN THEIR LOAN RATE, A REAL QUESTION MARK HANGS OVER WHEAT WHICH WON'T BE CLARIFIED UNTIL THE FARM BILL IS FINALISED.

TODAY I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO TOUCH ON RURAL RESEARCH. MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT, WE FACE DECLINING COMMODITY PRICES IN REAL TERMS OVER TIME AND TO MAINTAIN OUR EXPORT COMPETITIVENESS WE MUST BECOME MORE PRODUCTIVE AND LOWER OUR COSTS.

BECAUSE OF THIS, THE COMMONWEALTH IS COMMITTED TO INCREASED FUNDING FOR RURAL RESEARCH. IN THE LAST TWO BUDGETS, THE GOVERNMENT CONTRIBUTION TO THE RURAL INDUSTRY RESEARCH TRUST FUNDS HAS INCREASED BY NEARLY $10 MILLION AND THE OVERALL ALLOCATIONS ARE NOW IN THE ORDER OF $60 MILLION PER ANNUM.

TO ENSURE THAT WE GET MAXIMUM EFFECTIVENESS FROM THE RIRF'S WE ARE RESTRUCTURING THE RIRF COMMITTEES TO PROVIDE THE FLEXIBILITY AND DIRECTION THAT WILL BE INCREASINGLY REQUIRED IF AUSTRALIAN AGRICULTURE IS TO MEET THE CHALLENGES IT FACES.

I MENTIONED OUR ACTIONS AT THE INTERNATIONAL LEVEL AND SUPPORT FOR RESEARCH AS TWO EXAMPLES OF PROGRESS BEING MADE.

QUITE CLEARLY THE MOST IMPORTANT AGENDA ITEM.IN FRONT OF US TODAY IS THE ONE DEALING WITH DAIRY MARKETING ARRANGEMENTS. PERHAPS NO OTHER PART OF THE POLICY FRAMEWORK MORE CLEARLY ILLUSTRATES THE REALITIES OF COMMONWEALTH-STATE RELATIONS, THE PRESSURES FOR US TO FACE UP TO THE COMPETITION FROM UNSUBSIDISED IMPORTS FROM NEW ZEALAND AND THE FUTILITY OF QUICK-FIX PROPOSALS.

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IN CONSIDERING THE DAIRY ITEM TODAY, LET US NOT FORGET THAT THERE ARE A LOT OF OTHER INDUSTRIES UNDER EXTREME PRESSURES. THE GRAPE INDUSTRY IS ONE WHICH WILL BE COVERED IN A REPORT THAT WILL BE SUBMITTED SHORTLY BY AN INDEPENDENT INQUIRY.

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ANOTHER IMPORTANT EVENT WHICH IS COMING UP SHORTLY IS THE MEETING BETWEEN THE NATIONAL FARMERS' FEDERATION AND THE PRIME MINISTER, TREASURER, FINANCE MINISTER AND MYSELF, AT WHICH FARM COSTS WILL BE THE SOLE ITEM FOR DISCUSSION.

SIDE BY SIDE WITH THIS INITIATIVE WILL BE THE MOVE TOWARDS ABOLISHING THOSE PARTS OF THE REGULATORY FRAMEWORK WHICH ARE NO LONGER ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. MOST REGULATIONS DO IMPOSE COSTS AND WE CANNOT LET UP ON REALISING THE SAVINGS POSSIBLE - PARTICULARLY IN A PERIOD WHERE EXPORT COMMODITY PRICES ARE EXPECTED TO REMAIN WEAK.

BEFORE TURNING TO YOU FOR YOUR OPENING COMMENTS, I WOULD LIKE, ON BEHALF OF COUNCIL, TO THANK ERIC KENT FOR HOSTING THE STANDING COMMITTEE AND COUNCIL MEETINGS. IT IS ONLY FITTING THAT THIS COUNCIL MEETING SHOULD BE HELD IN VICTORIA'S I50TH BIRTHDAY AND DAIRY IS THE MAJOR AGENDA ITEM. IT IS YOUR LAST MEETING ERIC,

AND I AM SURE ALL MEMBERS WISH YOU WELL IN YOUR RETIREMENT.