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Thursday, 14 October 1971
Page: 2436

Mr SINCLAIR (New England) (Minister for Primary Industry) - I have received questions on 2 areas and perhaps I should refer to them in a reverse order. Firstly, the honourable member for Wakefield (Mr Kelly) raised 2 particular matters which concern him. I know that he sees the Economic Wool Producers Ltd as a very valued tool in changing marketing techniques as, indeed, do a number of honourable members, including myself. I think that the EWP, as I understand it, is following a type of marketing which largely has been set by assessments made by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics. So EWP is in fact following techniques which, from the point of view of that Government instrumentality, have distinct advantages.

There are 2 areas in respect of which I have been asked to give assurances. The first is that, when EWP wools are sold by tender and they are appraised for the purpose of attracting the deficiency payment,' they should be appraised as presented. Let me explain what the intention is with respect to wools sold by tender. The Bill does not specifically refer to any one agency selling by that method. Clause 10(l.)(c) states:

The sale by tender of wool through the agency of a registered seller by tender.

It will be necessary for EWP or any other person to become such a registered seller. The wool will be appraised then as at the value that it would have made at auction on a particular day. It is my understanding that it will be valued as presented but the appraisers may well not know the value of the wools or the price offered at tender. So there will be some distinction between the price bid at tender and the price valued by the Commission's appraisers. The Commission's appraisers will be evaluating the wool as presented in its bulk class lots but on the values which they assess the wool in that bulk class would have made at auction on that day. So there will be a judgment that will need to be made on how much wool of particular types presumably are in the particular lot. It would be a judgment which would be similar to that made by those who are submitting tenders.

Mr Kelly - But they would be taking allowance of the core test. They would be fully aware of the core test.

Mr SINCLAIR - Normally, as I understand it, the value is made on the core test and on the sample rather than on the physical appraisal of the lot. In terms of the second undertaking, that at auction the EWP should be treated as a registered broker, providing EWP sells in the same way as a broker it will be possible for the Commission to treat EWP as a registered broker. I am happy to give the honourable member the assurance that he seeks.

The position with EWP wools is that they are being treated in a distinctly different way from wools that are sold privately. Wools sold privately will attract a price support at the on-farm value. Wools that are sold at tender or for use as manufactured wool will attract that support. Perhaps I might refer to clause 10 (1.) instead of reading out the specific types of wool. Wool in the category denned by that clause will be appraised by the Commission as at the value that those wools would have received at auction. So, EWP wool will be paid as at auction value and not as at an on-farm value. This will be to the advantage of those who sell their wool through the EWP system. They will enjoy in addition some advantages in handling charges.

The second group of questions has been presented by the honourable member for Riverina (Mr Grassby). He asked initially whether or not other forms of price support were considered. Obviously when the Government is considering ways in which the industry is to be helped, it will give consideration to a range of different methods. A number of alternate forms including flat rate subsidy and flat rate incentive were presented. Each one of these unfortunately, or fortunately, did not have the flexibility that 'this scheme enjoys. The percentage is designed distinctly to give producers of better class wool a better incentive. It follows in the same degree that the exclusions are largely those wools that attract still the lowest prices. As far as time is concerned, I trust that, as soon as the legislation is passed, and certainly within the next 2 weeks, payments to growers should commence. There has been some delay while we have been waiting on the completion of the electronic data processing changes which are being made within the wool brokers offices to enable the whole scheme to be implemented at the time that payments are made to wool growers. I understand that this work is nearly completed. As soon as the legislation comes into effect we should be in a position to proceed.

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