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Tuesday, 6 December 1938

Mr LANE (Barton) . - A little while ago, this House passed a bill dealing with the export of apples and pears from Australia. When it was before the House, I asked whether it was proposed to place a levy on those who produced apples and pears for the local market only, and I was assured that it was not. We, in New South Wales, do not care where the Tasmanian growers sell their apples. We know that they are largely dependent on the export market, but they also sell a considerable quantity of their produce in New South Wales. We are gradually learning to grow our own apples, so that in future we shall be able to do without supplies from Tasmania. When the previous measure was before the House, we were told that there was no occasion for the growers or consumers of New South Wales to be represented on the control board because Tasmania was the chief exporter of apples and pears, although it also sells apples and pears to the other States. Now the growers of all the States are to pay this levy for publicity purposes. It seems to me that the Tasmanians have got everything they wanted here to-day. I only hope that none of this money will be used for political purposes. I suggest that some Neon signs should be erected in Sydney and other cities telling the people that " an apple a day keeps the doctor away ". This form of publicity might be more effective than any other that could be devised. It is proposed to impose a tax which, if the Minister thinks fit, may later be reduced. Why was not a similar principle adopted in regard to the previous measure dealing with apples and pears? In that measure a board consisting of eight or nine representatives was created to control the industry, but in the bill now before us it is proposed to place all the power in the hands of the Minister.

Mr Thompson - The board will still be in control.

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