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Tuesday, 20 September 1960

Mr ADERMANN (FISHER, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for Primary Industry) - It is not correct to say that the initial interim payment to dairy farmers is 2d. a pound less than it was previously. In fact, the price of 3s. 3½d. a pound for commercial butter as a first advance is the same as it was last year and, if my memory serves me correctly, the same as it was for the last two seasons. The equalization committee, as the season progresses, advances its payments or makes intermediate payments. Last season two further payments have brought the interim return to 44d., and a final payment has yet to be made.

With regard to the effect of the increased prices, I think that the reaction, from the public consumption point of view, is favorable. If the honorable member remembers, I did agree with the recommendation of the Australian Dairying Industry Council in relation to a cost increase of 14s. per cwt. wholesale. That, of course, has to be taken into consideration as does the weak London market at the present time. This has caused the equalization committee to act somewhat conservatively in regard to its initial payments, but the dairymen can be assured that a consequent realization will be paid out in full.

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