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Wednesday, 13 September 1972
Page: 1264

Mr CORBETT (MARANOA, QUEENSLAND) - The Minister for Primary Industry will no doubt be aware of the warm welcome given by rural producers, financial institutions and even the city Press to the announcement by the Treasurer in the Budget of the provision of $20m for long term rural loans. Will the Minister inform the House whether a decision has been reached on how this amount is to be made available to farmers and also when enabling legislation might be introduced into the Parliament?

Mr SINCLAIR (NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Primary Industry) - As the honourable gentleman mentioned, the Treasurer in his Budget Speech referred to the fact that the Government intended to allocate within this financial year $20m for the provision of a long term lending facility for rural industries. The Treasurer and I have now met the banks on 2 occasions to discuss ways in which these funds can best be used for that purpose. To date, no conclusion has been reached. As soon as I am in a position to provide the details which the honourable gentleman seeks, I shall be happy to do so. I might add that I concur completely with him that this is an area where in the past a good deal of support has been given to the need for some longer term lending facility. The survey undertaken by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics has identified the degree to which such a facility will be of assistance in the changing nature of agriculture and the increasing capital intensiveness of the industry. It is for that reason that the Government is pursuing its inquiries as expeditiously as possible.

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