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Tuesday, 1 November 1983
Page: 2150

Question No. 194

Mr McVeigh asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 19 May 1983 :

(1) Is it a fact that Australian agriculture suffers severely from a shortage of water for plant and feed growth.

(2) Has the Government abandoned the previous Government's national water resources program, which would have provided $640m; if so, what is the Government's alternative.

(3) Is the Government to delay decisions on this vital matter until after consideration of the report 'A Perspective on Australia's Water Needs to the Year 2000'; if so, how long is it going to be before the nation has a national water resources program.

(4) Is he attracted to the Bradfield scheme, in Queensland, which was part of the previous Government's program; if so, will he press for the continuation of this scheme by the Government.

Mr Kerin —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The honourable member has sought information on Labor's attitude to existing Commonwealth expenditures.

The matter he has raised involves development and consultation within the Government and with other agencies and with relevant industries.

I can assure him that the matter raised is being or will be considered in an orderly fashion and that a decision will be announced at the appropriate time.