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Thursday, 19 November 1959

Mr CLAREY (Bendigo) - A number of misapprehensions in regard to this amendment need to be cleared up. In the first place, I disagree entirely with the Minister for Primary Industry (Mr. Adermann) who has said that all of the organizations which are represented on this committee are contributing money to it. The committee will consist of six representatives of the apricot, peach and pear growers. They will be in the majority and they alone will provide the funds on which the organization will operate.

The Minister has suggested that the Australian Canned Fruits Board has made some contribution. The board is financed by regular annual advances from the Fruit Industry Sugar Concession Committee. Under this legislation the committee will not make any contribution to the fund. Neither the third body, the canners' association, nor the Commonwealth Government makes any contribution to the promotion of sales. The canners, the Australian Canned Fruit Board and the Government are represented because they are experienced in these matters and will assist the fruit growers to carry out the functions for which the committee has been created.

The case that has been advanced by the Minister does not solve the problem in relation to the representation of employees. The fund has been created to strengthen the economic position of the fruit growers and to ensure that they get the best value for their money. They bring with them experience in the control, preparation and sale of canned fruits. The mistake has been made by the assumption that because the employees are not represented on the Australian Canned Fruits Board and on other bodies, they are not to be represented on the proposed committee because apparently they have no experience that they can offer. But if you want to promote sales, you will find that there are many faults that the employees alone can rectify. There may be faulty packing; there may be faulty labelling; there may be 101 other things on which the employees would be competent to speak. If they were given representation on this proposed body they would be able to bring their knowledge and experience to bear, and their sound advice would help to improve the economic position of the industry.

Every section of the industry wants economic protection, and economic safety. It is wrong, when dealing with an economic problem, to leave out of consideration the economic effect on the employees. They have knowledge and experience that is worthy of consideration. I sincerely hope that the committee will adopt the proposed amendment.

Question put -

That the amendment (Mr. Clarey's) be agreed to.

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