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Tuesday, 16 February 1971

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - I am aware of the situation and it is a serious one. The problem is that the production of pears in 1970 was the largest ever and the carry over of canned pears at the end .of 1970 was something like li million to 2 million cartons. In the light of the marketing possibilities for the 1971 season the canneries have agreed that this year they will be able to process only about 75,000 tons. This leaves the situation which the honourable senator remarked on that there will be somewhere in the vicinity of 20,000 tons of pears surplus to requirements. It is true that the former Minister for Primary Industry visited the Shepparton district and discussed the problem of over production of pears with the growers concerned. At that time Mr Anthony discussed the possibility of growers submitting a claim for assistance for hardship. The growers agreed that they would raise the matter with the Victorian Government which has prime responsibility for this matter. It was agreed that if the Victorian Government passed the application on to the Commonwealth Government the matter would receive careful consideration.

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