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Tuesday, 19 August 1980
Page: 22


Mr FISHER (MALLEE, VICTORIA) - The Minister for Primary Industry will recall that on 21 May this year he tabled the 1976-77 annual report of the Australian Wheat Board. There have been adverse reports on the Australian Wheat Board by both the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Government Operations and the AuditorGeneral. As this issue is of concern to those involved in the Australian wheat industry, can the Minister inform the House of the steps being taken to deal with the matters raised in these reports?


Mr NIXON (GIPPSLAND, VICTORIA) (Minister for Primary Industry) - I am able to inform the honourable member that action is in progress for dealing with the matters highlighted by the reports of the Senate Committee and the Auditor-General concerning the Board's accountability and responsibilities to Parliament and the deficiencies in the Board's accounting operations. A commercial accounting organisation has been engaged to review the Board's accounting system and procedures, taking account of the reports of the AuditorGeneral and the Senate Committee. The work of that organisation is being oversighted by a steering committee under the chairmanship of the Chairman of the Australian Wheat Board and comprising representatives of the Departments of Finance and Primary Industry, with observers from the Auditor-General's Office and the Public Service Board. The consultant's engagement is scheduled for completion on 8 September. When the report of the consultant has been made to the Australian Wheat Board, the Board will consider it and advise me of the action intended to be taken to deal with the matters raised by the AuditorGeneral and the Senate Committee. After I have considered the Australian Wheat Board's advice, I will be in a position to make a full statement to the Parliament on the Board.







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