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Thursday, 29 March 1984
Page: 909


Senator ARCHER(5.20) —I move:

That the Senate take note of the paper.

I believe that we must all take into account the tremendous job that the Australian Chicken Meat Research Committee has done in establishing poultry as a basic part of the Australian diet. Poultry has come from the position where it was very much an odd meat, a luxury only to be eaten occasionally, to where it is now a dominant part of the household diet. Much of this has come about through the way this Committee has gone about its work. It has done a considerable amount of research into the various facets of production, presentation, feeding and marketing. I believe it should get full credit for what it has done. There are extraordinarly dedicated people mixed up in the Committee. It has done a great job in getting the consumption rate of chicken meat increased, improving nutrition and improving the health and housing of poultry generally.

It is interesting that some people are racing around saying that battery eggs are not fit to eat and so on. It must be remembered that the poultry industry depends very largely on the quality of its product. It has now been determined that the quality, nutritional value and health standards of battery eggs are better than those of free ranging eggs. The health and diet of poultry has been a matter of great concern. Nutrition and health generally have reached a remarkable stage. The Committee spends approximately half a million dollars a year on research. The money is provided equally by the industry and the Government. Diseases have been attacked quite substantially. I am pleased to report that fundamental industry difficulties and diseases have been largely brought under control once again and the future looks very bright for the industry generally to continue in the manner it has been going for the last decade.

Question resolved in the affirmative.