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Tuesday, 9 March 1971

Senator GAIR (QUEENSLAND) - Is the Minister representing the Minister for External Territories aware that the desiccated coconut industry in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea employs about 700 persons and makes a highly significant contribution to the Territory's economy? Are the 3 major sources of desiccated coconut for Australian use Papua and New Guinea, Ceylon and the Philippines? Did Ceylon devalue its currency in 1967 and did the Philippines devalue its currency on a floating basis in early 1970? Did these actions place the New Guinea desiccated coconut industry in a disadvantageous position because New Guinea currency is tied to the Australian dollar? Does the Government give assistance to other similar industries in New Guinea? Will the Government consider granting some form of assistance or price support to the desiccated coconut industry in the Territory so that it can continue its role as a vital economic unit and employer of labour in the Territory?

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