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AIDC and farmer co-operatives



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PRESS STATEMENT BY THE HON. A.A. STREET, OPPOSITION SPOKESMAN ON PRIMARY INDUSTRY

The claim by Dr Cairns and other ministers that the

Australian Industry Development Corporation needs extra powers to help farmer co-operatives is not only untrue, it is a

confidence trick. ,

This has been-exposed by the recent Ail.D.C.

investment in the Victorian Farmers & Graziers Direct Meat

Supply Co-operative.

What the Government wants to do, and what the.

present legislation is stopping them from doing - is to use

the A.I.D.C. to gain control of farmer co-operatives-.

Under the present arrangements the A.I.D.C. can

make.fixed interest loans to co-operatives, as they have

done to The Farmers & Graziers Meat Co-operative, but this

does not allow A.I.D.C. to interfere in the running of the

business. The Government want A.I.D.C. to have equity

Capital, which would give them a direct voice in management.

Obviously the Government's main interest is not in

helping farmer co-operatives - they can do that now - but to

use A.I.D.C. to gain control of them. This is entirely in

. line with the A.L.P. platform, which is to socialise the means

of production, and. obviously the Government regards the A.I.D.C

as the perfect instrument to achieve their objective of .

socialising agriculture- . ~

. . . I strongly support the co-operative movement and warn

ยท ; ' it to be on its guard to ensure that its control and management

remains in the hands of the producers. .

CANBERRA 7 May 1974