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Tuesday, 15 August 1972
Page: 12

Mr O'KEEFE (PATERSON, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I direct a question to the Minister for Primary Industry. Has the elimination of beef quotas to the United States of America meant increased sales for Australia? Have sales to Japan and other markets increased considerably? With this upsurge in beef export, has Australia sufficient abattoir and processing plants to cope with this huge increase? Can the Minister advise what the present position is and say whether any plans are being made to increase our processing facilities?

Mr SINCLAIR (NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Primary Industry) - It is true that as a result of the increase in Japanese quotas and the lifting of the import quota in the United States this year there will be con siderable opportunities for Australian meat exporters. I am assured by my Department that there is an adequacy of available facilities but much will depend on the degree to which they can be utilised. Already during this question time my colleague, the Minister for Labour and National Service, has identified one area in which the available facilities are constricted by irresponsible stoppages, activities which of course directly affect the ability of exporters to supply the available market and to satisfy the needs of customers who are willing purchasers. If any similar movement were to spread throughout the meat industry it would be doubtful whether there were sufficient facilities. I am assured that given the availability of facilities and preparedness to work more than one shift per day, however, there is every ability within the availability of existing structures for the expected level of demand to be satisfied.

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