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Wednesday, 3 June 1970

Mr Grassby asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice:

(1)   How many merino studs were there in Australia in each of the years since 1950.

(2)   Can he say to what extent the merino ram breeding enterprises within Australia are now owned by non-Australian interests.

(3)   If so, is he able to say to what extent these foreign interests are also engaged in the pastoral and wool industries in South America and South Africa, and in shipping and stock and general agencies serving those countries.

(4)   In view of the partial lifting of the ban on the export of merino rams, do such international participants in ram breeding enterprises stand to lose or gain from a transfer of the merino wool industry from Australia lo countries with either low labour costs or with the labour force either under police direction or in a state of peonage.

Mr Anthony - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The number of registered merino studs in Australia in each year during the period 1960 to 1968 was:

Statistics for 1969 and 1970 arc not yet available. The substantial increase in 1967 in the number of studs registered was due to a change in the requirements of the Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders for registration of a merino stud. The Association's new rules allowed some studs previously precluded from registration to enter the register.

(2)   No published information is available on the extent of non-Australian ownership of merino stud properties in Australia. However, the Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders has advised that, to the best of ils knowledge, the great majority of Australian merino studs arc wholly owned by Australians.

(3)   and (4) Very little information is available about foreign participants in Australian stud merino breeding enterprises, lt is not possible, therefore, to comment on the other activities of the foreign undertakings concerned or on the outcome of a hypothetical situation in which they might bc involved.

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