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Tuesday, 20 October 1970

Mr ROBINSON (Cowper) - I want very briefly to support the motion before the House and to indicate that it is a very important adjunct to the support already being given to the dairying industry but that it is contingent upon the industry, both in respect of dried milk products and other products, being subsidised. Previously it was assisted through a straight-out subsidy and a devaluation payment and as from 1st July last it has been assisted by a general subsidy to cover both fields. It is now a matter of great necessity for the dairying industry to have by 1st July 1971 a satisfactory scheme of production control, an arrangement for the volume of dairy products that will reach the market and an arrangement for the overall management of the industry in order to ensure there will be a continuation of Government assistance and support on a level designed to meet the situation of world overproduction, the loss of world markets and the extreme difficulties that can be the consequence of a situation in which there is not a proper rationale between production and possible commercial realisation. We have seen the dreadful consequences of this in the other major primary industries, those that might be termed the bulks in our primary industries, wheat in particular; and dairying has, of course, had the same kind of problem to face up to. The industry has done this in a very magnificent way this year and I am sure that with the co-operation that has already been displayed between the industry and the Government we will have by 1st July next year a very positive and basic plan upon which to sustain this very important primary industry in Australia. I think it is significant that in this situation we have had a very proper approach, an approach based on facts, on understanding, and certainly a situation in which there has not been political heat. This afternoon we have seen quite unique evidence of this in this chamber. I am sure the industry would appreciate the fact that such an approach is being made. I support the measure and express the hope that there will be a continuation of this kind of approach to matters concerning the dairying industry in the future.

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