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Wednesday, 13 November 1974
Page: 2302

Senator GRIMES (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Did the Minister for Agriculture hear the Queensland Premier, Mr Bjelke-Petersen, commenting on the radio program 'PM' last Friday about JapaneseAustralian trade? Does he agree with the Premier's statement that Japan is buying meat from Tasmania and New Zealand and if Japan wants Queensland minerals it has to switch its beef purchases to Queensland? Do such statements do anything to improve Japan-Australia trading relations? In fact do they do anything to improve relations between Queensland and Tasmania?

Senator WRIEDT -I did not hear the broadcast but I was told about it. It would be a stroke of diplomacy of the highest order which could improve relations with Queensland while Mr Bjelke-Petersen is Premier. The substance of what he said reflects the smallness of his mind. How quickly he forgets. How quickly he forgets to remind the Queensland people of what the Australian Government has done for Queensland in the way of mineral exports, particularly coal. Just for the information of the Senate, Mr President, the increased value of the contracts negotiated by the Australian Government for the export of Queensland coal since we came to office is nearly $2,000m. It is puerile for a man like Mr Bjelke-Petersen to say that he will tell the. Japanese that they will not have any more of our minerals or something else if they do not buy our beef. Thank goodness he is in State politics and not Federal politics.

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