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Thursday, 21 May 1970

Mr ANTHONY (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Primary Industry) - L would certainly hope that there is no suspension of our meat exports to the United States this year. We have been operating a regulatory system of exports of meat to the US market for 2 years now by the use of the diversification factor. In the first year of the operation of the scheme it was necessary to suspend exports 2 months prior to the end of the calendar year. However, last year we managed to continue exports right through the year, lt was a little fortuitous in that an extra quota was given towards the end of the year so we were not obliged to cut off any exports. This year the Australian Meat Board is being particularly cautious and has improved the monitoring of meat that is actually being exported. The diversification factor has already been tightened.

In reply to the honourable member for Maranoa a few weeks ago 1 announced other conditions that were being applied. After June, I think it is. approval will have to be given for all exports to make sure that we do not export in excess of our overall yearly quota. At the moment there is some fear that we may be running ahead of our estimated quantities. If the global amount of meat com-ng into the United States of America exceeds the estimated quota in July, that being the time when he generally looks at the matter, Secretary Hardin is obliged to advise the President whether quotas should be triggered. If that does apply there is a roll back of 10% of the quantity that we would be able to get into the United States. I am hopeful that this will not happen. The Australian Meat Board will be taking every measure lo ensure that wc do not exceed our quota.

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