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Thursday, 25 February 1971

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Air) - I am not in a position to answer in detail all the points raised by the honourable senator. However, he will recall that yesterday, in answering a question of a similar nature, I pointed out that the Government made this emergency grant available to wool growers because of the drought conditions prevailing throughout Australia and because of the drastic fall in wool prices. The maximum amount to be made available was S30 million. There had to be a cut-off somewhere as regards those who were eligible to participate in the scheme. The Government did not think that those who had income from other sources should be entitled to receive money from this grant. I think that a wool grower had to derive half his income from wool to be eligible to receive money from this grant.

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Graduating down to 331 per cent.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - Yes. Senator McClelland has added a little further information. 1 understand that, to the present, about 34,000 claims have been received and that. 29,000 have been assessed. So far, 14,000 claims have been paid in full. The total sum paid out is Si 4.6 million and 7.500 claims have been rejected. I obtained this information at the beginning of the session. I was told then that the Government believed that it could assess the remaining claims within the next 3 weeks. As almost 2 weeks have elapsed, in the next week we should see the final assessment of all claims. 1 will obtain the further information that the honourable senator seeks from the Minister for Primary Industry.

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