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Thursday, 18 September 1958


Mr McMAHON (Lowe) (Minister for Primary Industry) . - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

This bill covers a particular aspect of the new wheat industry stabilization arrangements. It is complementary to the Wheat Industry Stabilization Bill and gives effect to the Commonwealth's part of the new stabilization plan.

It is a requirement of the stabilization plan that in times when wheat export prices are high, growers will contribute moneys which will be used for the benefit of the industry when prices are low. These moneys will accumulate in a stabilization fund and will then be used to meet the guaranteed return on export wheat. If the fund proves inadequate the Commonwealth then has the responsibility of meeting the guarantee on export wheat to the extent that the fund is not sufficient to do so.

The wheat-growing industry agreed to this principle some years ago and still regards the arrangement as a fair sharing of the risk by growers and the Commonwealth.

The bill imposes a charge on wheat exported from Australia. The charge will be paid to the extent that the export price exceeds the guaranteed price, but at no time can it be higher than the maximum rate of1s. 6d. per bushel provided in the bill. The present bill follows the lines of the 1954 act. It will apply to the 1958-59 wheat harvest and to the four crops that follow it. I commend the bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Calwell) adjourned.







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