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Thursday, 20 April 1972
Page: 1285

Senator POKE (TASMANIA) - My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry. Has the Minister seen a Press report attributed to the. President of the New South Wales Graziers Association, Mr F. M. MacDiarmid, to the effect that the price averaging plan for the marketing of odd lots of wool had proved to be a failure? Does the Minister agree with Mr MacDiarmid's views that, because of the failure of the price averaging plan, any legislation to set up an Australian wool authority should be as general and flexible as possible? Could the Minister advise whether the wool authority, when established, will be endowed with the power of acquisition or will be just another paper tiger?

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - I saw the article to which the honourable senator has referred. No doubt he will agree with me that Mr MacDiarmid was expressing the views of his organisation. I think the honourable senator will realise, if he has been around in the wool industry, that there is some concern among wool growers as to the operation of the price averaging plan. I think he will also realise that the ad hoc committee which was set up by the Australian Wool Industry Conference made a report of its findings to the Conference and suggested that there should be some alteration. The Minister for Primary Industry is examining this question at the present time. No doubt the Randall Committee will have something to say about the matter. Until such time as that happens, I do not think I should comment any further. However, I will convey the honourable senator's question to the Minister for Primary Industry.

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