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Thursday, 15 May 1980
Page: 2329

Senator McLAREN (South Australia) - I will be very brief in my remarks in the Committee stage. This must be a very interesting and enlightening day for the Minister for National Development and Energy (Senator Carrick) who has so often in this place accused the Australian Labor Party, when in government and now in Opposition, of not having the interests of primary producers at heart. The fact that he has been in charge of this Bill would have been an education for him. He has heard the remarks of Senator Walsh who is a wool grower, he has had the advice of the officers from the Department of Primary Industry and he has read the second reading speech where it is admitted that if it had not been for the floor price plan introduced by a Labor government there would have been disastrous results for the Australian wool industry. It has been said on many occasions that Australia rode on the sheep's back. That might not be true so much today. However, Australia would certainly not have been riding on the sheep's back if it had not been for the foresight of Senator Wriedt when he was Minister for Agriculture in introducing legislation of this nature which the Government has now sought to amend and which we fully support.

I say again that this must be a very enlightening day for the Minister. I hope the fact that he has been in charge of this Bill has been a great education for him, that in the future we will not hear Senator Carrick in this place castigating members on this side of the chamber, saying that we have no interest in primary industry and that we could not care less about primary producers. I think this Bill is conclusive proof that we have an interest in primary producers and that when we are in government we legislate to assist primary industry wherever we can. This Bill is clear evidence of that intention of the Labor Party.

Bill agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.

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