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Thursday, 21 May 1970

Mr TURNBULL (Mallee) - First of all I agree with what has been said by the 3 honourable members who have spoken and, of course, I support this measure. I am influenced to a very large extent by the fact that this charge is approved by the Australian Dried Fruits

Association which is the main controlling body in the industry. It has approved and I believe recommended this charge. This is the body that has guided the dried fruits industry since its inception. In this House - not so much in the last few years but when I came into it and for many years thereafter - the dried fruits industry marketing system was pointed to as a model for other industries to follow.

I just want to say briefly that with the small crop last year and an almost record crop this year I believe that large and small dried fruit growers will be benefited as far as export is concerned. Also the Control Board will have money to use to promote sales. Therefore both of these interests will be benefited by this legislation. Because of the small crop last year the amount of money available to the Control Board became very low. The Board wants a fair amount of money for the promotion of the large crop this year. Therefore, I think this legislation is very, very appropriate.

I do not need to go into the amounts involved because other honourable members have given these details. I do not want to undulge in tedious repetition. The honourable member for Riverina (Mr Grassby) probably represents quite a number of dried fruit growers. Of course, the Mallee electorate represents at least 70% of the whole pack of Australia. It is not exactly right to say that the dried fruits industry has never had any assistance from the taxpayer for the simple reason that in this House, after a certain amount of advocacy about 15 years ago, a grant of £300,000 - or $600,000 - was made. This money did not come out of thin air; it came from the taxpayer. This industry is a very precarious one and as has been said by the honourable member for Riverina and other honourable members the season last year was a tragedy for the growers. Last year the drying of the fruit became very difficult.

This Bill, I believe, is in the best interests of the industry which, for the quantity of fruit it grows and the amount of money involved on a percentage basis, is a very large exporting industry which benefits the whole of Australia.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

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