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Tuesday, 16 February 1971

SenatorDR A KE-BROC KM AN - On 26th October, Senator Drury asked the following question without notice:

Has the attention of the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry been drawn to the extensive damage caused by frost to cereal crops in the southern Murray-Mallee area in South Australia? Experts have estimated that the expected barley yield of 3.5 million bushels will be cut to 500,000 bushels, that approximately 10 per cent of the sultana and wine grape crops have been affected and that the wheat yield will be affected. Will the Minister ask the Government to extend to the growers affected by this disaster the same assistance that is extended to those entitled to drought relief.

The Minister for Primary Industry has supplied the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The long standing policy of the Commonwealth in these matters is clear cut and is well recognised by the States. It is that the responsibility for any financial assistance as the result of damage to crops rests solely with the States. It is only when major disasters occur that the Commonwealth is prepared to consider the provision of assistance to a State for the purpose of relief measures.

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