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Wednesday, 20 September 1972
Page: 1625

Mr GILES (ANGAS, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I ask the Minister for Primary Industry whether he has seen reported statements by Mr Casey, the South Australian Minister for Agriculture, to the effect that brucellosis vaccination of cattle must now be totally charged to the farming community? Is it true that this action is due to withdrawal of Federal Government funds previously used for this purpose, as claimed by Mr Casey?

Mr SINCLAIR (NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Primary Industry) - Over the last 6 months there has unfortunately been a decision by the United States of America Department of Agriculture which will mean that the degree to which cattle that are affected by tubercular lesions can be admitted into the United States will be very severely restricted. As a result, the Commonwealth considered the contribution that it has made towards the brucellosis and tuberculosis eradication campaign over the last 3 years and in this Budget has provided for a very significant increase - in fact a doubling - of the amount provided. The doubling will mean that in this financial year about the same sum of money will be allocated for brucellosis and tuberculosis eradication as was provided in the last 2i years.

It is unfortunate that in some States there has not been the State participation in eradication that there has been in other

States. In Victoria and New South Wales, for example, there has traditionally been a very significant State contribution towards the eradication of brucellosis, tuberculosis and other cattle diseases because Victoria and New South Wales have recognised the consequences to the livestock industry in those States of any type of disease infection. The South Australian Government has not participated to the same degree and I am told that last year in the brucellosis and tuberculosis eradication campaign approximately 59 per cent of the funds expended was contributed by the Commonwealth and only 41 per cent was contributed by the States.

This contrasts with a very much higher percentage contribution by New South Wales and Victoria. The Commonwealth has provided a significantly increased amount of money for the eradication of both these diseases. I am most disappointed that the South Australian Government apparently finds itself unable to increase its allocation in order to provide a similar scheme for eradication to that which exists in other States and an acceleration of the programme in order to meet the needs of Australia's export markets. The position is not as the South Australian Minister for Agriculture has alleged. The Commonwealth has increased its allocation. I trust that the South Australian Government will now find itself able to reexamine the position so that South Australia can fall into a similar category to some of the eastern seaboard States.

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