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Wednesday, 4 March 1970

Mr ANTHONY (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Primary Industry) - The first thing I want to say in reply to the honourable member for Moore is that before the Bureau of Agricultural Economics could make any investigation of an industry on a State basis a request would normally come from the State government concerned and, before I would consider such an investigation it would certainly need to have the support of the wheat industry in that State. The inference in the question is that there should not be any reduction in the quotas. I think one must face the fact that there is a major problem in the wheat industry. We are producing too much wheat and now we have the problem of storing it and of wheat growers having to pay for that storage. The Australian Wheatgrowers Federation, with great courage and with a great degree of responsibility, is facing up to this problem. It realises that production must be cut back still further and that that must be done in an orderly manner. To try to subvert the present quota arrangements that have been arrivedat by the Australian wheat industry would do nothing but throw the whole wheat industry into absolute chaos. There must be some restraint. It is up to everybody to give encouragement and strength to the leaders of that industry who have undertaken such a responsible job.

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