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Thursday, 11 May 1989
Page: 2396


Senator JENKINS(10.55) —I also rise to speak in support of the Australian Democrat amendments. From the line-up that we had in the divisions on the second reading, it looks as though the package of Bills will be passed. Therefore, it is crucially important that amendments such as these be passed through the Senate so that the least possible damage is done to wheat and grain growers. I rise to speak on this occasion as a senator who represents Western Australia because in that line-up for the divisions I was, in fact, the only Western Australian senator to vote against the deregulation of the wheat market.

I draw to the attention of honourable senators the fact that the State of Western Australia is against wheat deregulation. As reported in the West Australian on Friday, 14 April of this year:

The State Government and Opposition have joined forces to oppose the Federal Government's plan to deregulate the domestic wheat market. In a move which saw the State Liberal and National Parties rebel against their Federal counterparts, the Legislative Assembly yesterday passed a National Party motion calling for all-party support to retain State control of the industry and they threatened to challenge in the High Court the Federal Government's power over State transport and grain handling. The Deputy Leader of the Western Australian National Party, Mr Monty House, told the Legislative Assembly yesterday that many Western Australian farmers would be disadvantaged by the plan. Western Australia already had one of the most efficient grain handling and storage systems in the world. `The grain handling system in Western Australia is unique and it has been handling grain at a cheaper cost per tonne than in any other country', he said.

That is the reason, I wish to place on record, for my support for the Democrat amendments.