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Tuesday, 30 May 1972
Page: 3254

Mr DAVIES (Braddon) - I wish to raise with the Minister a question that I asked this afternoon. If this is a Liberal Government that believes in free enterprise, why does it not, as it was requested to do in 1967, provide for a proportion of the funds to be allocated under this measure to private foresters? After all, the Government recognises this principle in relation to housing agreements. A proportion of housing funds for the States is set aside for free enterprise, for the terminating building societies, with the largest proportion going to the State governments. Surely a similar principle could be applied to the private foresters. Therefore, in Committee, I simply ask the Minister whether the Government, in relation not to this agreement but possibly to future agreements, will make some provision for private forest development. The banks will not make funds available to these people at interest rates as attractive as those for which this measure provides. The banks are unable to lend at interest rates comparable to those that the Government can permit. Surely the people to whom I have referred are entitled to some consideration. I ask the Minister to intimate why private industrial forests and people who have private forests are not covered by this agreement.

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