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Tuesday, 30 May 1972
Page: 3211

Mr IRWIN (MITCHELL, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Can the Minister for Primary Industry tell the House how the extension of the Yennora wool handling centre and all the necessary plant and equipment is to be financed? Will not the initial costs at Yennora be higher than those at Pyrmont? Would not regional handling be more efficient and in the interests of growers and all associated with this great industry, and would it not be a boon to decentralisation?

Mr SINCLAIR - I think we all hope that at some stage there will be quite radical changes in the way in which wool is marketed and handled. Certainly the introduction of objective measurement will produce new techniques which may well enable the establishment of regional wool handling centres. At this stage, unfortunately, the ability to handle wool through objective measurement is still somewhat restricted. Yennora is a development which, contrary to the implications of the honourable gentleman's question, will enable, first of all, quite substantial savings in reduced freight charges payable to the New South Wales Government Railways. In addition it will allow, through the integration of all wool selling brokers in one centre - although one wool broking firm has indicated in recent weeks that it is not prepared to move to that centre - a greater combination of facilities than exists with the present spread of centres over a fairly wide area. If all the selling centres are in the one location it will mean that the buyers themselves will be able to concentrate their efforts on the one area. It will save them time in the still necessarily subjective appraisal of wool. It will enable all those who are interested in the wool industry to attend the one centre, and it will enable the many complex and related processes involved in the selling of wool to be under one roof and in one area, which, in the view of the Australian

Wool Board and my own Department, will be to the distinct advantage of the Australian wool growers. lt is true thai if the Yennora concept had been introduced perhaps 5 or 10 years ago the advantages of it might have been even greater, but it would be foolish to think, at a time of change, that there is still not a great deal to be gained from the Yennora type concept, lt is for that reason that the Government has indicated to the Australian Wool Board that it would be prepared to give a guarantee to the Wool Board in its search for funds to finance the construction to be undertaken at Yennora. Negotiations are still under way between the Wool Board and the private banking system in an effort to come to a satisfactory financial arrangement. The Government hopes that this can be done on a commercial basis. 1 believe that the commercial advantages to the wool grower and the wool industry are such that it is reasonable to expect the existing financial system to provide the necessary funds under a commercial arrangement satisfactory to all concerned.

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