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Thursday, 16 May 1957

Mr McMAHON (Lowe) (Minister for Primary Industry) . - I am very glad to receive the suggestion made by the honorable member for Canning (Mr.Hamilton), but I frankly think, first, the adoption of the proposal is unnecessary, and secondly that the provision already in the bill will achieve the purpose the Government has in mind. It would not be desirable to provide that the amount should be at least that contributed by the wheatgrowers, because, to be perfectly frank, we do not know at the moment what projects will be put to the Government for consideration. That being so, we do not know how much will be involved; but I am certain that at least for one or perhaps two years, while we are getting the necessary staff together, while we are getting the technical personnel trained, and while we are putting up the buildings, it would be extremely difficult to spend more on new projects than the amount that will be contributed by both sources. Therefore, I suggest that it is unnecessary to use words that set a minimum to the Government's contribution.

Secondly, let me say to the honorable member that I am perfectly prepared to give the matter further consideration. If, at a later date, it is thought that the provisions of this bill are inadequate, then I am certain the Treasurer (Sir Arthur Fadden) and I will be only too happy to consider it. This provision has received the most careful and detailed consideration by all people interested in the scheme. As I have said, the bill itself has been seen by the Australian Wheat Growers Federation, which approved of it.

For that reason, on behalf of the Government, I can only express the personal opinion that the terms of the provision, as we see it at present, are sufficient. If they should not prove adequate, I can give the honorable member my assurance that they will be looked at again.

Bill agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.

Bill - by leave - read a third time.

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