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Tuesday, 29 August 1989
Page: 464


Senator CHAPMAN —Is the Leader of the Government in the Senate aware that the proportion of wool purchased at auction in the financial year 1988-89 by the Australian Wool Corporation was 5.1 per cent of the total offering, but has risen dramatically to 12 per cent in June 1989, 35 per cent in July 1989 and 46 per cent so far in August? Was the significant loss of export income which will result from this wool remaining onshore taken into account by the Government in forecasting the 1989-90 balance of payments deficit of $18.5 billion, or is this forecast as rubbery as last year's proved to be?


Senator BUTTON —Dealing first of all with the forecast for overall export aggregates, most commentators agreed that the Budget forecasts were realistic and not in any sense bullish. `Realistic' was the word which was used by most commentators about them. I think that is correct. As for the percentage of the wool clip purchased by the Australian Wool Corporation, I am aware that there has been in increase, but I cannot agree or disagree with the honourable senator on those details. I will try to obtain an answer and provide it to him as soon as possible.