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Thursday, 4 June 1970

Mr GILES (Angas) - by leave - I rise in my place briefly to say that I am pleased that this inquiry into the effect of dumping on the potato industry has taken place and that the Government, which properly has the right and responsibility to dictate policy in these matters, has seen fit to adopt the report of the Tariff Board. It will be quite clear to honourable members that some of the vegetable industries in Tasmania have been under some pressure from time to time. Sometimes the reports emanating from industry sources in the producing areas may be a trifle exaggerated and sometimes, as is so in this case, there is obvious merit in what the Tariff Board has suggested and what the Government has accepted as policy on the matter. It is very important that the House should look at the methods adopted when dumping occurs and recognise this procedure as an effective check to dumping and a measure to take care of the primary industry concerned.

Dumping affects not only the Tasmanian industry but also the industry in various areas of South Australia of which I am aware, and quite probably in other areas. I am not so sure of. my facts about Victoria or New South Wales but I do know that in South Australia the pattern of potato availability is very different from that which applies in Tasmania. By and large over the years the pattern of the Tasmanian crop has been one of great variation due to seasonal conditions There have been years of big surpluses and years when, due to poor climatic conditions, the crop has been able to do little more than meet local demand, leaving no surplus for export or processing. In South Australia there is a greater continuity of supply, and I would think that this would be mirrored fairly well in Victoria. In South Australia we do not have variations in the crop due to seasonal conditions as exist in Tasmania. This is due largely to the use of irrigation. But dumping by countries which export to Australia does affect potato growers in South Australia. The action taken by the Government against dumping will be vital to the industry, particularly in Tasmania because of the seasonal variations which can affect the total supply of potatoes.

If I were to continue my remarks outside the context of the Tariff Board's report I might be out of order. So I content myself by thanking the House for its generosity in allowing me to make these general remarks which I feel have some relevance to this matter.

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