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Thursday, 14 November 1974
Page: 2373

Senator SHEIL (QUEENSLAND) - My question is directed to the Minister for Agriculture. Is it a fact that the 5-year sugar agreement between the Commonwealth and Queensland governments has expired? Is it a fact that with the fruit and vegetable canning season commencing there is now no Fruit Industry Sugar Concession Committee price structure upon which stable prices for canned fruit and vegetables can be guaranteed? Will there be a new agreement? If so, when will it commence? Does the Minister agree that the present position is contrary to the Government's professed desire for income stability in agriculture?

Senator WRIEDT - As the honourable senator would be aware, sugar does come within the responsibilities of the Minister for Northern Development. But it is true that the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement will expire and it is my understanding that the 2 Governments are still negotiating for a renewal of that Agreement. Insofar as it affects the FISCC prices for fruit, that is a matter which also is under consideration as various suggestions have been made both by the sugar industry and by the canned fruits industry. The Government will be making a decision this week on the question of rebates.

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