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Wednesday, 29 June 1949

Mr CHIFLEY - I have not seen the article to which the honorable gentleman has referred. During the last seven or eight years, I have received representations on a number of occasions concerning the taxation of graziers in the circumstances indicated by the honorable member.

Mr Francis - And dairy-farmers.

Mr CHIFLEY - The matter affects all classes of primary producers. It was considered by the Government's taxation advisory committee, while the right honorable member for Yarra was chairman of it, and it has also been considered by the committee since the Minister for Health has been chairman. The subject has also been discussed at several conferences which representatives of the graziers have attended. I attended some of the conferences. There is an averaging system by which the rate of tax applicable to the income earned in any year by a primary producer is determined. The operation of that system has been extended by this Government and previous administrations. The primary producers feel that the Government has made very fair concessions to them, although doubtless they want much more than they have in fact received. I do not think that any further discrimination can be shown to primary producers by granting them additional relief from taxation. The primaryproducers' organizations are aware that We are always prepared to listen to their representations and to consider any matters that are put before us. The primary producers have done remarkably well of late years. It is estimated that they have discharged debts which have amounted to approximately £80,000,000 and have also reduced their overdrafts substantially. If the honorable gentleman has a particular case in mind, I shall he happy to consider it. I shall even read the article to which he has referred if he will supply me with a copy of it.

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