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Thursday, 1 April 1971


Senator WILKINSON (Western Australia) - I am not really satisfied with what the Minister has said. I. am disturbed that the provision covers the operations of packers and individual growers. I think the Minister said that about 15 per cent of growers do not supply through packing houses.


Senator Drake-Brockman - I said less than 5 per cent.


Senator WILKINSON - I would still be disturbed if the number was only 1 per cent. We are trying to look at this from the viewpoint of everybody. An individual grower who is providing fruit to a packing house will be covered because there will be a record of everything entering the packing house. We are concerned about the individual grower who does not dispose of his fruit through a packing house. He will not have any record. In his case there may be an averment and that is what disturbs us. Someone will make an estimate which will become evidence. It will be extremely difficult for the grower to prove or disprove an averment that is made. We want to cover that point, even if only 1 per cent of growers are affected.

The disturbing feature is that there is no guarantee that such evidence can be refuted by a grower or upheld by the Government. Proof is difficult on that basis. I do not believe that the provision is necessary. In the case of a packing house there is a signed document in respect of goods brought into it. There is no need for a statement or averment to be made by an officer. An inspection of the books is sufficient to discover what a particular grower has supplied. We envisage that the provision will apply only in the difficul* situation of a grower who is not supplying a packing house. I would be pleased to have the Minister cover that point.







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