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Wednesday, 10 April 1946

Mr BARNARD (Bass) . - I find myself somewhat in disagreement with my Tasmanian colleague, the honorable member for "Wilmot (Mr. Guy). The honorable gentleman suggested that a sugar refinery in Hobart would solve Tasmania's problem of a shortage of sugar. Well, that may or may not ,be, In normal times we have little or no difficulty in obtaining sugar supplies. The arrival of regular supplies in Tasmania depends on the availability of shipping. We have had difficulties since the outbreak of war, but so have other States. In fact, I think Victoria last year suffered a worse shortage of sugar than Tasmania did. That was my experience of Melbourne, anyway. Sugar was available in Tasmania for a longer period than it was in Melbourne, and Melbourne has a sugar refinery.

Mr Guy - It is alleged, of course, that a lot of sugar was locked up in the depots.

Mr BARNARD - Th at may be. There was a controversy about the quantity that was actually stored. I have never heard proof that the quantity stored was as great as has been alleged ; but, if it was stored, why was it not released ? I do not know t] at a refinery would be of much use to us in the event of a lack of shipping, because ships would be required to carry the raw sugar to the refinery. I think the solution of the problem lies in a more frequent shipping service between Sydney and Launceston. I know that it is the popular thing to say that we should have a refinery in Hobart because there are refineries in other States; but I am not so concerned about that as I am about having a regular flow of refined sugar coming to the northern and southern sugar depots on ships. The sugar agreement has worked very well over the years. During the war, shortage of labour and ships caused difficulties, but the sugar industry -was not singular in that respect. If the problem of a shortage of sugar in Tasmania arises in the future I think this clause is sufficiently broad for the i natter to be raised again, and then I should be happy to join with the honorable member for Wilmot in proposing the establishment of a refinery in Hobart; but, at the moment, I see no practical difficulties or reasons for supporting his proposal.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 5 agreed to.

Schedule and Title agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.

Bill - by leave- - read a third time.

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