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Tuesday, 3 March 1970

Mr COLLARD (KALGOORLIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - I ask the Minister for Primary Industry a question. Is it correct that wheat quotas as they are presently being allocated will, in the very near future, force a large number of the smaller farmers to abandon the wheat industry? Could the quotas in fact eventually bring about a situation in which approximately one third of those now in the industry will be obliged to seek other means of livelihood? Does the Minister favour such a situation on the ground that even before quotas one third qf the industry was uneconomic? Finally, if the Minister does not favour the situation which appears almost certain to develop, what action has he taken or does- he intend to take to protect the interests of the small genuine wheat farmer against speculators and professionals?

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