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Thursday, 1 June 1972
Page: 2516

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice:

(1)   Are arrangements being made to expand the banana industry, in Queensland for the purpose of exporting bananas to Japan.

(2)   Was a delegation recently sent to Japan by the Queensland Government to investigate the possibility of exporting Queensland bananas to Japan; if so, who were the members of the delegation.

(3)   What will be the likely effect on the banana industry in New South Wales.

(4)   Have any attempts been made in recent times to obtain a national stabilisation scheme for the banana industry; if so, what progress has been made.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) (Minister for Air) The Minister for Primary Industry has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question: (1), (2) and (3) A delegation under the auspices of the Queensland Government left for Japan on the 19th April to investigate market prospects for North Queensland bananas in Japan and returned on the 8th May. I am informed that the delegation consisted of Mr G. Short, Senior Marketing Reporter, Queensland Department of Primary Industries; Dr D. Langbridge, Market Development Officer, Australian Paper Manufacturers Ltd; and Mr E. Greaves, Manager, Banana Sec- tion, Committee of Direction of Fruit Marketing, Brisbane. I understand that the Report of the delegation has not been completed yet, and it is therefore too early assess the market prospects in Japan for bananas on the basis of this delegation's visit, or the effect of any, possible trade in Queensland bananas that might develop on the industry in New South Wales. When the report is available it will be considered by myself and my officers with the interests of the industry in all parts of Australia in mind.

(4)   Leaders of the banana growing industry have for some years been studying the possibility of achieving a satisfactory stabilisation plan for this industry. During this time they, have had discussions with officers of the Department of Primary Industry and other people who might be of assistance to them in their investigations. The initiative for further action in this matter is at this stage with the industry.

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