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Thursday, 17 May 1973
Page: 2257

Mr MAISEY (MOORE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry. I refer to a report attributing to the Minister for Primary Industry a statement that the present wheat stabilisation scheme will be extended for another year. The report also indicated that while the guaranteed price would rise by 3c to 160c per bushel the domestic price would remain at 170c per bushel. Is the Minister aware that the present price is 184.06c per bushel, and will he clarify whether this indicates an intention of the Government to reduce drastically the home consumption price?

Dr PATTERSON - The Press communique which the honourable member read from must have been incorrect. A decision has been taken - I understand it has been announced and will be discussed - that the Government will carry out a comprehensive review of the wheat stabilisation scheme. There is no doubt whatsoever about where we stand on this issue. We support wheat stabilisation. As I have indicated before, it was a Labor government that introduced the wheat stabilisation scheme in Australia. There is no conflict at all within the Labor Party as regards the principles of wheat stabilisation. The principles which have been followed by the Labor Party over the years are shown in our platform and are accepted by the Labor Government. The Minister for Primary Industry will be negotiating with the Ministers who constitute the Australian Agricultural Council tomorrow - the Standing Committee on Agriculture meets today - on current issues with respect to wheat stabilisation.

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