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Thursday, 25 October 1973
Page: 2779

Mr Bourchier (BENDIGO, VICTORIA) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice:

(1)   Is there an extreme shortage of baling wire for the rural industry.

(2)   If so, has the Minister (a) taken any steps to have wire imported or (b) discussed the problem with Broken Hill Pty Co Ltd in an endeavour to obtain increased production.

Mr Grassby - The Minister for Primary Industry has provided the answer to the honourable member's question as follows:

(1)   There is a shortage of all wire products, including baling wire at present.

(2)   (a) The level of imports has increased compared with previous years but contributes a comparatively small quantity to overall supply. The shortage is world-wide and the high price and long delivery times quoted by overseas suppliers have restricted imports.

(b)   Australian Wire Industries Pty Ltd is the major supplier of wire products. The basic reason for the Company's inability to increase production to meet demand has been a shortage of labour. Output has also been affected by Industrial disputes and power restrictions. The supply of feedstock from BHP is not an inhibiting factor. It should be noted that the majority of bales are tied with twine rather than wire.

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