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RURAL SECTOR--DROUGHT

Senator Crane, pursuant to notice, moved--That the Senate--

(a) notes that the suffering and hardship of people in severely

drought-affected areas has been exacerbated by policy decisions

made by Labor governments during the 1980s, particularly as a

result of:

(i) abolishing the initial Income Equalisation Deposits

scheme, which ran from 1976 to 1984, and replacing it

with a series of schemes which are disincentives to

farmers and pastoralists becoming self-reliant,

(ii) the massive increase in fuel excise from 7 cents in

1983 to 32 cents today, and

(iii) the multitude of increases in sales taxes; and

(b) calls on the Government:

(i) due to the length and severity of the current drought,

to immediately introduce a fodder subsidy scheme, and

(ii) to suspend the assets test on the various educational

and social benefits and apply only the ordinary income

test while the drought continues.

Debate ensued.

Document: The Minister for Primary Industries and Energy (Senator

Collins) tabled the following document:

Rural sector--Drought--Transcript of John Anderson's press conference,

dated 31 August 1994.

Debate continued.

Senator Crane, by leave, amended paragraph (b) to read as follows:

(b) calls on the Government to identify those severely

drought-affected areas and in those areas to:

(i) immediately provide more realistic and effective

assistance to preserve the national breeding flock and

herd, and

(ii) suspend the assets tests on the various educational and

social benefits and apply only the ordinary income test

while the drought continues.

Debate continued.

Senator Bell moved the following amendment:

Paragraph (a), omit the paragraph.

Debate ensued.

Document: Senator O'Chee, by leave, tabled the following document:

Rural sector--Drought--Transcript of John Anderson's press conference,

dated 31 August 1994.

Question--That the amendment be agreed to--put and passed.

Main question, as amended, put and passed.

General Business concluded.