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Thursday, 11 May 1989
Page: 2401


Senator PANIZZA(11.25) —As has been pointed out, this is the cornerstone of the four conditions for the Liberal Party to agree to the deregulation of the domestic wheat market. I also want to put on record that I agreed to not cross the floor of the Senate on the basis that we would stand up solidly for this. We do not intend to back away from it. I am not going to go into the reasons why the guaranteed minimum price (GMP) should remain at 95 per cent. Despite what anyone might say, the GMP will be the floor price on the domestic market.

I wish to point out where Senator Walsh this evening misled the Parliament when he spoke about the GMP being higher than the Government proposes. He gave figures on what the Government would have paid out in 1986. Since he spoke I have obtained figures here from the Australian Wheat Board. In 1986, when the GMP was set at $125.72, the pool returned $125.50 which is 99.8 per cent of the GMP. In other words, if the trigger was to be set off under this sort of legislation at 95 per cent estimated GMP, it would have had to be set at 99.8 per cent for the Government to pay. I think that Senator Walsh needs to give an explanation to the Committee because he had his figures badly mixed up.