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Thursday, 1 June 1972
Page: 2517

Senator WEBSTER (VICTORIA) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice:

(1)   What dairying industry interests are represented by Amalgamated Co-operative Marketers (Australia) Ltd.

(2)   Can the Minister indicate whether Amalgamated Co-operative Marketers (Australia) Ltd's action in nominating the General Manager, Mr K. R. Kent, and campaigning for his election to the Australian Dairy Produce Board as the representative of Victorian co-operative butter and cheese factories, is being done in the interests of the industry generally or is being motivated by commercial self-interest as has been alleged.

(3)   Are there any factors which would prevent a company from mounting a campaign for election of a candidate to the Australian Dairy Produce Board.

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)   I am informed that all Victorian cooperative dairy companies are shareholders in Amalgamated Co-operative Marketers (Australia) Ltd (A.C.M.A.L.) which is a marketing organisation set up to market dairy products manufactured by the shareholding consigning companies. These companies are situated in north and north eastern Victoria, Gippsland and the western district of Victoria. In addition through its wholly owned subsidiaries A.C.M.A.L. provides cold storage and carton making facilities as well as farm servicing facilities.

(2)   It is considered that A.C.M.A.L. like any other large dairy organisation would be concerned to ensure that the industry representation on the Australian Dairy Produce Board is the best available to the industry, which no doubt is reflected in its decision to make its General Manager available to serve on the Board as the representative of Victorian co-operative butter and cheese factories.

(3)   There is nothing in the relevant Act or regulations to say that a person who has been nominated as a candidate, or his company, shall not spend money to campaign for his election. Consequently, there is no implication that action by a company to campaign on behalf of its nominee is improper.

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