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Rural Reconstruction



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PRESS RELEASE STATEMENT BY

THE MINISTER FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRY

CANBERRA 5/4/74

RURAL RECONSTRUCTION

The Minister for Primary Industry, Senator Ken Wriedt announced today

bhat the Australian Government would approve State Governments granting loans

for Rural Reconstruction in 1974-1975 up to an amount of . $28 million.

This followed a meeting in Canberra today between Federal and State

Ministers responsible for rural reconstruction. The limit to which individual

States could approve loans is: -

N.S.V.

$m

8.0

Vic. 6.0

Qia. 4.7

S.A. 3.4

V.A. 4.8

Tas. 1 .1

28.0

All State Ministers agreed to this allocation.

As was the case last year, not more than 50$ of a State’s allocation

can be devoted to debt adjustment and the objective which each State will

attempt to achieve is that at least 70$ of its allocation will be used for farm

build-up loans.

The provision of funds for rural reconstruction in the forthcoming

budget will be $30 million, consisting of $12 million of fund loans approved

by the State Authorities in the latter months of this financial year and $18 m.

to fund new loans approved in 1974-75; an amount of $10 m. will be provided in

the 1975-76 budget to fund loans approved during the latter months of 1974-75.

Although the amount approved for loans to farmers in 1974-75 is less

than the corresponding figure of $36 m. approved a year ago, the State autho­

rities have estimated that with the far more buoyant conditions of rural

industries they will not need to utilise all the money available for the

current year. The allocation for next year is in fact only marginally less

than the amount which will be actually allocated in 1973-74.

•The amount being approved makes provision for the possibility of less

favourable prices for wool and beef. However, the current rate of applications

for rural reconstruction was running at only about one third of the rate this

time last year.

2

The Minister said that the generous provision for rural reconstructior

was in line with the Government’s policy to provide assistance in cases of ne<

The Australian Government provides funds to the States for rural.

reconstruction on the basis of 2 5 as a grant with the remainder as a loan

repayable over 20 years.

Senator Wriedt also said that the State Ministers had proposed that

the Fruitgrowing Reconstruction Scheme should be extended for a further perioc

and that this matter would be considered by the Australian Government.