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Thursday, 1 December 1960

Mr DUTHIE (Wilmot) .- I join with my colleagues, the honorable member for Lalor (Mr. Pollard) and the honorable member for Franklin (Mr. Falkinder), in supporting this measure, and I pay tribute to the honorable member for Franklin for having raised in this chamber on previous occasions - with our support - the question of extra representation for Tasmania on the Australian Apple and Pear Board. The proposed alteration to the constitution of the board will give Tasmania four votes out of thirteen, three of those votes being those of growers' representatives, and one the vote of the exporters' representative. Hitherto, they have had three votes out of twelve. Although, the acual percentage of additional Tasmanian representation is not very great, the Tasmanian growers are extremely pleased with it. As the honorable member for Lalor said, Tasmanian fruit growers provide 70 per cent, of the apples exported from Australia, and it is only right that this small island, which grows so many apples, should be adequately represented on the board.

Mr J R Fraser - Most of the apples grown there are Democrats, too.

Mr DUTHIE - And most of the " Democrats " are in the electorate of Wilmot, if you mean electors! The present members of the board are Mr. C. E. Critchley, O.B.E., chairman; Mr. D. G, Jones, who represents the exporters of apples and pears- in Tasmania; Mr. D. K. Barron, who represents the exporters of apples and pears in Western Australia; Mr. A. G. Perry, who represents the exporters of apples and pears in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland; and Mr. W. H. Nicol, M.B.E., who represents the employees engaged in the industry. Mr. Nicol is a very distinguished Tasmanian, and it might interest honorable members to know that it was a Labour Government which amended the act in 1948 to give the employees representation on the board.

Mr Pollard - And it has helped to create industrial peace in the industry.

Mr DUTHIE - It has done much to promote industrial peace in the industry, as always happens when boards such as this are made up of representatives of employers and employees or of growers and employees. Mr. Nicol has done great work on the board. He gave distinguished service to the Australian Workers Union in Tasmania, and has done splendid work in connexion with the Hydro-electricity Commission there. We in Tasmania are delighted at the fact that the employees' representative should be a Tasmanian. Of course, the act does not require that he shall be a Tasmanian; he may come from Western Australia, Queensland, or any other State, but at the moment the employees' representative is a Tasmanian and we are pleased that he is.

The members who have been elected to the board by the democratic vote of the growers are Mr. W. B. Pascoe, who represents the growers in New South Wales; Mr. R. J. Tully, who represents the growers in Victoria; Mr. R. W. Anderson, who represents the growers in Queensland; Mr. H. K. Caldicott, who represents the growers in South Australia; Mr. G. C. Parke, who represents the growers in Western Australia; Mr. D. F. Calvert, who represents the growers in Tasmania; and Mr. W. H. Smith, who also represents Tasmanian growers. The two Tasmanian representatives have had many years' experience in this industry as growers and administrators. Both have played an important part in the affairs of the State Fruit Board of Tasmania. Mr. Smith is at present chairman of that board. He is a most active man, and is always prepared to say what he thinks. He has forthright and progressive views, and although at times his presence at meetings might cause discussion, to put it mildly, it is a good thing to have on such boards men who try to brush the cobwebs from the minds of the other members and get them to discuss the real problems confronting the industry. He is not one of those who are satisfied with the status quo; he wants to see progress in the industry. Later I shall have something to say about his work in trying to obtain financial assistance for those growers in Tasmania who suffered hail damage. The secretary of the board is Mr. W. J. Oldman. From now on, there will be one more Tasmanian on this board.

Mr Falkinder - Mr. Farrell is the secretary.

Mr DUTHIE - According to the report of the Australian Apple and Pear Board for the year ended 30th June, 1960, the secretary is Mr. W. J. Oldman. You are referring to the secretary of the State fruit board. We welcome this recognition of Tasmania's strength in apple and pear production, and 1 sincerely hope that the newly reconstituted board will improve the market for Tasmanian apples, and that under its administration there will be intensive research into ways of producing better fruit to meet the growing competition from overseas.

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