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Wednesday, 28 October 1970

Mr ANTHONY (Richmond) (Minister for Primary Industry) (3:17 AM) - The first question asked by the honourable member for Dawson (Dr Patterson) was in relation to wool that is purchased prior to the auction, after negotiation with the owner of the wool. This wool will be sold at the existing reserve price. I spelt this out in greater detail in my second reading speech. I would have interpreted this to mean thai he would be paid in the same way as for wool taken out when it does not meet the reserve price. The honourable member for Riverina (Mr Grassby) asked me whether all the functions and powers of the Commission are to be voluntary. Except for the setting of standards of preparation for wool, which will require complementary State legislation, they all become powers byCommonwealth legislation. Under our trade and commerce powers these come into existence straight away. The operations of the price averaging scheme and the advance price become compulsory, not complementary. The standards of clip preparation is the only matter that requires complementary State legislation, but we can operate at the moment because the brokers have agreed on standards.

Another question asked of me was whether the owner of the wool could have the right to withdraw his wool. I might not have it clearly, but once a star lot is taken up he has no say in the price at which it is sold, because it is all included in the price averaging plan. He loses possession of it immediately. It is acquired and he is paid an advance. The returns are pooled when the wool is sold and they are distributed to the owners according to the type and quality of the wool. The question asked by the honourable member for Mitchell (Mr Irwin) related to sub-clause (3.) of clause 18, which reads:

The Commission may exercise any of its functions outside Australia.

This is included specifically to cover a reserve price scheme for wool sold at auction in the United Kingdom. About 10,000 bales a year are sold on that market. It is intended to operate a reserve price for Australian wool sold there. This has always been accepted in all the reserve price scheme proposals put up. It would be quite unfair to the brokers concerned and the people who sell on the English market if we were to make the scheme apply exclusively to the Australian market.

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