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Tuesday, 30 May 1972
Page: 2306

Senator POKE asked the Minister represent in ; the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice:

(1)   Vin the Minister inform the Senate whether the Government is contemplating any action before the next Budget as a result of a recently released submission by the Australian Wool Industry Conference.

(2)   Does the Conference's submission, urging the amalgamation of the Australian Wool Commission and the Wool Board and a total acquisition by such an authority of the wool clip, constitute a new concept to the Government, or have relevant Government departments been investigating such a move.

(3)   Would an Australian Wool Authority such asthat proposed by leaders of the industry have the power to determine the price of wool and would this mean less cost to the Australian taxpayer than the present price support system.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) (Minister for Air) The Minister for Primary Industry has provided the following answer to the honourable senators question:

A statement on Government policy affecting the wool industry will be made before the opening of the new woo) selling season on 1st July next following consideration of the Australian Wool Industry Conference submission and the final report of the Randall Committee.

(2)   The Australian Wool Industry Conference adopted in principle the concepts of amalgamation of the Australian Wool Board and the Australian Wool Commission and the acquisition of the Australian wool clip in November 1971 and announced its decision at that time. The recommendations which the Conference submitted to the Government in March 1972 were developed on the basis of the Conference's November 1971 decision which was, of course, known to the Government.

(3)   Since no decision has yet been made by the Government on the wool industry's recommendations, any comment on the proposed authority's powers would at this time be pure speculation.

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