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Tuesday, 22 August 1972
Page: 467

Mr CORBETT (MARANOA, QUEENSLAND) - The Minister for Primary Industry no doubt will be aware of the results of the opening of yesterday's wool sales at Melbourne which indicated an increased demand for wool. Does the Minister see the possibility of this demand continuing and does he also see it as justification for this Government's policy of assistance to the wool industry in its time of severely depressed prices during 1971?

Mr SINCLAIR (NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Primary Industry) - I think that all Australian people, even members of the Opposition, would be delighted to see the result of the wool sales yesterday. As the honourable gentleman's question demonstrated, there has been a complete vindication of the policies pursued by this Government with respect to the wool industry. I think it is also heartening that, although the last week of auction sales scheduled for June 1972 had to be cancelled because of the uncertainties following the flotation of the pound sterling and that, as a result, those wools could not be sold, the decision now has meant that the growers whose wool has been reoffered and sold in fact will receive an enhanced price because of the improvement in the market circumstances yesterday. Of course, in addition, they were covered by the advance that was made by the Australian Wool Commission on the same basis as wools that normally were received by the price averaging plan and, as a result of this, I believe that they in no way suffered because the wools were not sold. Although it no longer is true that Australia depends entirely for its development and progress on the merino sheep, it is still quite demonstrably true that the merino wool industry has a significant contribution to make to this country and I think that all Australians were very heartened by yesterday's trend which I trust will continue throughout the rest of the season.

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