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Thursday, 19 November 1959

Mr ADERMANN (Fisher) (Minister for Primary Industry) . - Past governments have made appointments to commodity boards of persons who have been re-appointed by this Government. But the proposal made by the honorable member for Bendigo (Mr. Clarey) is a vastly different proposition. The committee with which the bill deals is not a commodity board like the boards to which the honorable gentleman referred earlier. The record shows that the Chifley Government took advantage of its power to have marketing board legislation passed, and placed union representatives on the boards controlling the marketing of meat, dairy produce, wheat, eggs and apples and pears. In fact, in recent days I have re-appointed to the Australian Wheat Board one of the persons appointed to it by the Chifley Government. But that is a marketing board with full trading rights.

The honorable member for Bendigo's proposal in regard to this committee is a vastly different proposition, because the Australian Canned Fruit Sales Promotion committee is a promotional committee. It exists as a result of a decision made by fruitgrowers who, recognizing the marketing difficulties that lay ahead of them, formed the Australian Canning Fruitgrowers Association, which is not a statutory body. They got together as delegates representing their various districts and, in order to help themselves, they decided to impose a levy on themselves so as to produce a contribution for promotional purposes. All honorable members will agree that that is a commendable approach, and that it is only fitting that those people should have a majority control of this committee appointed for promotional purposes.

The honorable member for Bendigo mentioned the representation on the committee of the Australian Canned Fruits Board and of the fruit canners. Certainly they are represented on this committee. The fact that the board is making donations to finance publicity and promotion, as the canners are also doing, provides the link, and the reason for the appointment of their representatives to this promotional committee. The desire is that this committee should act in unison, that interests represented on it should dovetail their activities and not allow them to overlap. Finally, it is only right that those who pay the piper should call the tune.

There is to be a Commonwealth Government representative on the committee, since governments take the legislative action that may be necessary. I agree with the appointment of a government representative on such committees and boards. Government representatives can be useful to them in many ways. They keep a contact between the departments and the committees or boards. I can see no justification for the appointment of representatives of the employees, and accordingly the Government cannot accept the amendment.

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