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Review of rural reconstruction scheme

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PRESS RELEASE 9 Statement By




The Australian Government has allocated $30 million for rural reconstruction in 1975-76, an increase of $2 million on funds provided for 1974-75. This was announced in Canberra today by the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Ken Wriedt,

following a review of the Rural Reconstruction Scheme by Australian and State Ministers.

, The allocation to States of amounts which they can

approve by way of assistance under the Scheme next year is as follows :

N.S W.


8.6 (1974-75 $8.0m.)

Victoria 6.4 ($6.Om.)

Queensland 5.1 ($4.7m.)

South Australia 4.1 ($3.4m.)

Western Australia 5.1 ($4.8m.)

Tasmania 0.7 χ($1.lm.)

Total 30.0 ($28.0m.)

1975-76 would be the final year of the Scheme under the present Agreement. The I.A.C. report on rural reconstruction was due by 31 December 1975 and the question of an extension of the scheme or any other reconstruction measure would be considered next year in the light of that report.

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Senator Wriedt said that in reviewing the progress of this scheme in the current year $16.5 million of the $28 million allocated by the Australian Government to States for the approval of assistance in 1974-75 had been committed by 28 February. State Ministers believed that the remaining

$11.5 million would be committed by 30 June.

70% of funds approved so far during the current financial year had been for farm build-up assistance and 30% . for. reconstruction of debts. The States had agreed to aim to devote 70% of funds to Farm Build Up and that not more than

50% assistance approved by a State Authority could be for debt reconstruction.

Senator Wriedt said that in response to requests from State Ministers for a relaxation in the proportion of assistance which should be devoted to farm build-up, he had agreed to reduce the target from 70% to 50%. He added that the maximum proportion of assistance which could be approved for debt reconstruction by any State would be 70%.

The Minister said that while current economic conditions in the rural sector led to the increased emphasis on debt reconstruction the main objective of the scheme remained long term structural adjustment through the farm build-up provisions.


Canberra, 11 April, 1975.