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Tuesday, 3 March 1970

Mr ANTHONY (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Primary Industry) - The long drawn out negotiation has not been without its difficulties, but there are now encouraging signs. I am fairly confident that an agreement will be reached. However, I would like to qualify that comment by saying that I have said this before. At the meeting of the Australian Agricultural Council in Sydney in February it was agreed that the officers of State departments involved in this matter would get together in Canberra on 12th February to discuss the difficulties that the States saw in the scheme and to unravel some of the misunderstanding that had arisen. The Prime Minister contacted the Premiers and the meeting was arranged and held. Much good came out of the meeting and at the moment the matter is in the hands of the State governments for them to iron out some of the minor areas of disagreement that still exist. I would like to point out, however, that we drew up a draft document of agreement with Western Australia so that it could implement the scheme. This document was then circulated to the other States and it is being examined by the various State officers at the moment. I hope that in the very near future the difficulties will be ironed out to the satisfaction of all parties.

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