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Wednesday, 11 April 1973
Page: 1362

Mr Malcolm Fraser asked the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice:

(1)   What discussions have been held with leaders of the wheat industry concerning a new stabilisation plan.

(2)   Has the Government yet agreed on its approach to this question; if so what is that approach.

(3)   Is there agreement between the departments of Primary Industry and the Treasury on the approach to be adopted.

(4)   Is it a fact that many primary industries are urgently awaiting decisions from the Government.

(5)   If so, will the Minister ask his Department to provide the answers to these questions as a matter of urgency.

Dr Patterson - The Minister for Primary Industry has furnished the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   At my direction, senior officers of the Department of Primary Industry recently had discussions of a purely preliminary and informal nature with representatives of the wheat industry on the subject of the wheat industry stabilisation.

(2)   and (3) I am informed that the Australian Wheatgrowers' Federation at its Annual Conference early next month will be formulating proposals for a new stabilisation scheme to commence with the 1973-74 crop which, as has been the case with all previous wheat stabilisation arrangements dating back to 1948, will involve consideration by not only the Commonwealth but also all State Governments.

I have made arrangements for a special meeting of the Australian Agricultural Council on 18th May, at which I will be discussing the industry proposals with the State Ministers of Agriculture. In the light of the outcome of those discussions, the Commonwealth Government will then consider its position in the matter.

(4)   Not to my knowledge.

(5)   See answers to (2) and (3).

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