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Wednesday, 24 May 1972
Page: 1951

Senator MAUNSELL (QUEENSLAND) - My question, addressed to the Minister for Primary Industry, follows from a question asked yesterday by Senator Poke. The matter was referred to again today. Is it not a fact that any reduction in the overdrafts of wool growers, and thus a reduction in the interest payable, is of benefit to them? Is it also a fact that one of the purposes of the deficiency payments scheme was to ensure that wool growers would receive adequate remuneration for their product so that they would not have to go to banks and wool brokers for extra loans to cover their costs?

The PRESIDENT - Order! I am considering your question. Upon consideration, I will allow it.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - I would think this would be made apparent in the answer that I will get from the Minister for Primary Industry in reply to Senator Poke's question. As Senator Maunsell said, the reason for the introduction of the deficiency payments scheme was to assist people who were hard pressed with commitments at that time. If the people concerned lowered their debt to storekeepers, banks or broking houses then I do not think it could be justly said that by this action those firms have been the only ones to reap something from the deficiency payments scheme. I expect the Minister for Primary Industry will respond to this question along those lines.

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