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Friday, 11 October 1985
Page: 1122

(Question No. 522)


Senator Watson asked the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 11 September 1985:

Why did the McKay Committee, during its inquiry, not visit Tasmania or hold discussions with any Tasmanian wine producers, given the outstanding reputation of the Tasmanian vineyards as producers of high quality wines.


Senator Walsh —The Minister for Primary Industry has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The Inquiry into the Grape and Wine Industries (known as the McKay Inquiry) was established with wide-ranging terms of reference covering all aspects of the grapegrowing and winemaking industries. The Inquiry widely advertised its terms of reference and sought submissions from all interested parties. It was provided with information on the Tasmanian wine industry in a written submission from the Tasmanian Government.

While Tasmanian wine is of high quality and there is potential for increased production, the fact remains that Tasmanian wine grape production accounted for only 0.04 per cent of the total Australian grape crush in 1983/84. Also the Committee considered that the problems facing Tasmanian wine producers, all of which are very small operations, are unlikely to be significantly different from similar sized wineries producing similar quality products elsewhere in Australia. Given the need to utilise public funds most effectively in the conduct of the Inquiry, it was decided that a visit to Tasmanian wine producers was not warranted.