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Wednesday, 24 October 1973
Page: 1385

Senator WILKINSON (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - The Minister for Primary Industry may be aware that there is a widespread belief within the wheat industry that the money which is likely to be paid into the stabilisation fund by growers this year and which could amount to $45 m will not be carried over to any new stabilisation scheme but will be simply absorbed into Commonwealth revenue. Can he say whether this belief is correct?

Senator WRIEDT - Some weeks ago a member of the Opposition asked me a question which was much the same as the question asked by Senator Wilkinson. I indicated then that no such thing was contemplated by this Government. I think it is regrettable that there is still being bandied about in rural circles this rumour, which I heard again only last night, that the Australian Government in some way will take this $45m surplus and pay it into Consolidated Revenue. I take this opportunity to say again that this is not so. I think it is reprehensible that rumours of this nature have to be sent around the countryside in order to confuse farmers who. I think, have sufficient faith in the Government to know that what we are doing for the wheat industry is probably the best deal that it has ever had.

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