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Thursday, 14 May 1936

Senator BRENNAN (VICTORIA) (Minister without portfolio assisting the Minister for Commerce) - On the 7th May, Senator Johnston asked a question concerning Commonwealth grants under the Wheat Growers Relief Act 1936, and desired to know, inter alia -

How much is being paid in each State: (a) on an acreage basis per acre; (b) otherwise; and (c) for drought relief;' under the provisions of the Wheat Growers Relief Act 1936?

I am now in a position to furnish the honorable senator with the following information : -

New South Wales - Total Grant, £565,284.

(a)   Payment of 2s. 6d. per annum on the area sown to wheat for grain during 1935-36 season. This will absorb about £472,000.

(b)   Nil.

(c)   The balance of approximately £93,284 willbe distributed amongst growers who have suffered serious loss through unfavorable seasonal conditions.

(a)   Approximately £200,000 allocated to provide for payment at the rate of1s. 8d. an acre of wheat sown.

(b)   Approximately £191,948, to be applied as a contribution towards transportation and freight charges incurred by growers in the sales of their wheat.

(c)   £50,000 for relief of growers who have suffered loss through drought) hail, storm and flood.

(a)   £32,135 to be distributed to growers who have sown wheat for grain, in the proportion which the acreage sown by each grower boars to the total acreage sown for the State. The payment will be approximately 2s. 5d. an acre.

(b)   Nil.

(c)   Balanceof £10,700 to be distributed unionist growers whose yields, through uncontrollable causes, fall below the1 935-36 average for the State.

(a)   £362,250 to be distributed on an acreage basis. The payment will be approximately 2s. 4½d. an acre.

(b)   Nil.

(c)   £69,896 for allocation amongst those growers whose yields werethree bushels an acre and under.

(a)   £231,250 to be distributed on an acreage basis. This will provide a payment of approximately1s.11d. an acre.

(b)   Nil.

(c)   £16 1,600 to provide sustenance for growers who have suffered from drought conditions.

Whole of the grant to be distributed on an acreage basis. This will provide for a payment of acre.

It is left to a State to decide the method of distributing amongst its growers the amount allocated to it.

The acreage payments shown for the various States under headings (a) above, are, therefore, not comparable one with another, because each State has reserved a different percentage of its total allocation for distribution on an acreage basis, e.g., in Tasmania, the whole of the grant is being distributed on an acreage basis, whilst in Victoria, only about 45 per cent. is being so distributed.

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