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Thursday, 5 December 1974
Page: 4709

Mr GILES (Angas) -Because the States Grants (Fruit Growing Reconstruction) Bill relates fundamentally to a State grant I wish initiallyand for only a few minutes to draw the attention of the House to the parlous position of State governments through lack of State grants to aid with their revenue raising. For a start, South Australia is out of pocket by$ 13.7m. One ponders whether the sort of grant that we are considering tonight is really of the gravity to State governments of their revenue deficit. A second point I make tonight is that this Bill is purely a continuation of the 1972 legislation introduced by the Opposition when in government during that year. The tree pull scheme as it has become known was founded in difficulties two and a half years ago with the collapse of the traditional markets, such as the United Kingdom market and the European Economic Community market, which were then in a state of complete surplus in which the price had collapsed. It was also founded on the fact that pears in Victoria and apples in Tasmania both appeared to be in a state of semi-permanent surplus. It was a scheme confined to that period of time. Apart from some minor modifications which I shall mention later it now assumes the implications of a much more permanent law.

Throughout this debate I wish to draw to the attention of the Government, if I can, matters relating to reconstruction rather than matters relating to eradication. The full implication of the tree pull scheme proved ineffectual in most mainland States. For instance, in my electorate it was looked upon fundamentally as a waste of time. Very few successful applicants took advantage of the terms of the scheme. In fact, the floods in the Victorian section of the River Murray which eliminated many acres of peaches produced the situation in South Australia which I have just described. Therefore, the potential need for tree pulling disappeared in my electorate. Mr Speaker, I seek leave to have incorporated in Hansard a page of facts and figures. I have already shown it to the Leader of the House (Mr Daly).

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