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Thursday, 23 August 1984
Page: 280

Senator WATSON(5.10) —I move:

That the Senate take note of the paper.

The Australian Apple and Pear Corporation published a booklet in 1983 which detailed its objectives, functions and strategy. This was a positive move and was reflected in the content of this report. Actually, 1983 was a difficult year for the industry. It is regrettable that production estimates were far from met due to the effects of drought, heat waves, hail and bushfires, but it is pleasing that sales and export returns were generally satisfactory despite all those problems.

In the export area it is pleasing that the so-called 'Captain Kangaroo' promotion initiative seems to be progresssing quite well. It is good to see that a proposal is being developed to feature the 'Captain' on all export cartons. Something distinctively Australian will no doubt be beneficial.

In the domestic area, the initiatives that have been taken have proved to be quite rewarding. For example, apple and pear based recipes which have been issued every six weeks to 180 Australian newspapers have been reported to be a great success. Useful research was undertaken into people's preferences for apples and pears which will be used for future advertising. The experimental joint apple and pear promotion, with a major national supermarket chain providing sales presentation and storage hints, resulted in very worthwhile sales improvements. Also, the children's target market was well covered, with educational and publicity material highlighting the nutritional value of this fruit being sent to all schools around Australia.

In research, the Apple and Pear Industry Research Foundation is continuing its important work. It is developing efficient techniques for the industry, particularly spraying techniques, and in the effective control of pests and in the application of fungicides, and in evaluating and assessing the quality of fruit.

It is good to see that funding in 1984 has been increased, too. Processed apple and pear production increased markedly in 1983, and it is encouraging that even in Tasmania we have a new processor starting on the Tasman Peninsula. I take this opportunity of wishing him well. This report is of particular significance to Tasmania, which is one of the major apple export producers in Australia. It is pleasing to see at least some sort of recovery within the industry, particularly in my State. I congratulate those growers who have taken some pretty bold steps in this rejuvenation process.

Congratulations must go to the Corporation on the success of its marketing strategies. The appointment of Mr Peter Calvert to the Corporation will mean continued improvement, because Peter can make a significant contribution. He is a large grower in Tasmania, he is active and he is forward-looking. Also, I thank the retiring members for their contributions, particularly the Tasmanians, Mr R. B. Walker and Mr E. A. N. Beaumont.

Question resolved in the affirmative.