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Thursday, 11 June 1970

Mr ADERMANN (Fisher) (12:52 PM) - One of the protections of the peanut industry has not been in effect a head subsidy - it has not cost the country, the consumers or the Government anything, lt is a method of letting in sufficient imports to make up the country's requirements at concessional rates so that the average price for which the peanuts will be bought by the manufacturers- that is, the price of imported peanuts - plus what they pay to the Peanut Board for those which it has available, is equivalent to the price of all other oils, which are now interchangeable. 1 am all in favour of concessional rales. However, the Board made an earlier recommendation to abolish concessional rates, which the Government did not accept. What is wrong with a policy that allows a country which manufactures to bring in sufficient peanut oil to make up the requirements of the market here? I think the honourable member for Dawson (Dr Patterson) said that peanut oil is a special oil and has. a special place, and that not all oils are interchangeable. The oils arc interchangeable, but the manufacturers desire to have peanut oil for a particular purpose in certain instances.

To allow, as has been the case, 3 tons of peanut oil to be imported for the product that is on the market means that its price will be equivalent to that of other oils. lt does not cost the Government or the consumer anything, because if the product is not made up of imported peanut oil it will be made up of other imported oils. Frankly, 1 am against the abolition of the concessional rate. However, the Tariff Board has recommended that it should be phased out over 2 years. The Government has reduced that period to 1 year and 8 months. I have asked the Minister to have a look at this position and he is doing so. I cannot see why we should not have the full 2 years principally because the season of the peanut industry is from 1st July to 30th June. To back dale the period to January or to April cuts right into the middle of the season. As a result the Board cannot make its arrangements with the manufacturers for a seasonal supply for the tonnage that is available and equate that with the necessary tonnage that comes from overseas. I hope that the Minister will have a look at this matter.

Schedule agreed to.

Eleventh and Twelfth Schedules- byl leave - taken together, and agreed to.

Thirteenth Schedule. (Amendments of the Principal Act as Amended in Accordance with sections 3 to 14 (inclusive) of this Act).

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