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Tuesday, 17 February 1959

Mr ADERMANN (FISHER, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for Primary Industry) - T am aware of the disaster that occurred in .South Australia. Immediately T was informed of it, I sent the Deputy-Director, War Service Land Settlement, in South Australia, to investigate and he made a report to me. I cannot agree with the honorable member that 60 settlers are entirely destitute. Undoubtedly, there have been some heavy losses; and the Commonwealth Government readily made available subsidy payments on a £l-for-£l basis in accordance with statements that have been made by the Prime Minister from time to time in relation to policy on these matters. The priority accorded the subsidy payments has been, first, the replacement of household possessions; secondly, to make agistment available free where stock are destitute of food; and, thirdly, sympathetic consideration of any application made in relation to commitments to the Crown and deferment of payments without added interest. If those needs arise, the honorable member can be assured of the Commonwealth Government's sympathy for those concerned.

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