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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4569

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

(1)   Is there an increasing tide of bankruptcy in the poultry industry and is the incidence of bankruptcies growing daily.

(2)   If so. will he ask the Prime Minister to bring personal pressure to bear on the Victorian Government to agree to industry stabilisation now so desperately needed and agreed to by all States except Victoria.

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

(1)   Enquiries made through the respective State Egg Marketing Boards show that there has been no increase this year in the number of bankruptcies in the egg industry. In fact bankruptcies have been fewer in 1971 than they were last year. However, this is not an indication that the industry's profitability is increasing. There are many producers who are experiencing financial difficulties because of the effect on returns of excessive production.

(2)   The Commonwealth Government has made it clear on a number of occasions that it would support any constitutional scheme acceptable to a majority of egg producers to regulate egg production. However production control is the prerogative of the States and following the decision of the Victorian Government not to join with the other mainland States in a co-ordinated scheme of control the Victorian Minister of Agriculture stated he could see no useful purpose in the suggestion made by the South Australian Minister of Agriculture that a special meeting of the Australian Agricultural Council be held to consider the matter. In the circumstances there appears to be no alternative but to await the next meeting of the Australian Agricultural Council in February when the subject has been listed for discussion.

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