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Thursday, 11 October 1984
Page: 2261

(Question No. 1907)

Mr Simmons asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 11 October 1984:

(1) Is it a fact that following the devaluation of the New Zealand dollar the New Zealand Meat Producers Board can air-freight lamb into Australia at $A1.95 a kilo wholesale; if so, is this less than the domestic cost of prime lamb production as estimated by the NSW Department of Agriculture.

(2) Can he say whether it is proposed that imports of NZ lamb be regulated; if so, on what price and quantity basis.

(3) Can he say whether provision is to be made within the CER arrangement to protect Australian producers against the progressive devaluation of the NZ dollar, in a similar manner to provisions existing within the EEC, in the form of monetary compensation devices.

Mr Kerin —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) I am advised that it is possible that the New Zealand Meat Producers Board could air-freight lamb into Australia at $1.95 per kilo wholesale. I am not aware of the NSW Department of Agriculture estimates for the domestic cost of prime lamb production to which the honourale member refers.

(2) I am not aware of any proposals to regulate imports of NZ lamb, should such imports occur in the future. I would point out that although the CER Trade Agreement provides for the continued duty-free flow of meat between the two countries, the Australian industry has recourse to normal countervailing and anti-dumping procedures if imports entering at subsidised or dumped prices are causing, or threatening to cause, material injury to the Australian industry.

(3) The Government does not have under consideration any proposals for the Australia New Zealand CER Trade Agreement to provide monetary compensating mechanisms similar to those used by the EEC.