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Department of Primary Industry strengthened



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PRESS

^TATEM ENT

MINISTER FOR

1 °e

LIA

PRIMARY INDUSTRY

DEPARTMENT OF PRIMARY INDUSTRY STRENGTHENED

Substantial strengthening of the top-level

organisation of the Department of Primary Industry was

announced today by the Minister for Primary Industry,

Mr. Anthony.

He said this had been made necessary by_the need to

develop further the Department's capacity to grapple with

the major problems confronting the primary industries and

to cope with the increasing workload on the department's

senior officers.

The reorganisation affects the Export Inspection

and Management Services Division, the Fisheries Branch and

the Bureau of Agricultural Economics.

New positions created in the reorganisation are:

. Assistant Secretary, to head the new Management

Services Branch

Assistant Secretary, to head the new Export

Inspection Branch No. 2

• Executive Officer, to head the Special Projects

and General Section in the new Export Inspection

Branch No. 2

• First Assistant Secretary, to head the new

Fisheries Division, which will be raised from

the status of a Branch

• Assistant Director, to head the new Economic

Analysis and Projects Branch of the Bureau of

Agricultural Economics.

2.

Applications have been called for these positions,

but they have not yet been filled

Mr. Anthony said the problems of the rural indust-ries, springing from rising costs which were not accompanied

by corresponding rises in returns, were unlikely to diminish

in the near future.

"Indeed, they could well be intensified by future

events. I have in mind the effects of, for example, British

entry into the European Economic Community," he said.

"The changing Australian and world agricultural

scene will, in the immediate years ahead, demand from farmers,

their organisations and their Governments a great deal of

intensive study and the application of the results of this

study,

"It is obvious that there will be a need for some

adjustment to changing circumstances and that Governments

will need to continue to assist with these adjustments."

Mr. Anthony said the existing Export Inspection

and Management Services Division consisted of the Export

Inspection, Establishments and Finance and Pesticides Branches.

A growing workload had combined with an increasing

range and complexity of export inspection activity and

problems to produce the need for reorganisation in this area.

Inspection of Australia's exported commodities was

a vital activity of the Department and one which ensured that

the quality standards demanded in world markets were maintained.

3.

Australia had an enviable reputation for the

quality of the goods it exported, and it was of the utmost

importance that this reputation be maintained during a time

when standards demanded were being continually raised, and

new markets were being pursued in a highly competitive

atmosphere.

The existing Division would be split into an

Export Inspection Division with three branches (Export

Inspection No. 1, Export Inspection No. 2, Pesticides) and

a new and separate Management Services Branch.

Mr. Anthony said the existing Fisheries Branch

would be raised to the status of a Division, headed by a

First Assistant Secretary.

He said the raising in status of the Fisheries

Branch was a recognition of the growing importance of fish-eries, and was in line with the Government's policy of

fostering development of the industry.

The rapid growth of the industry had attracted

increasing attention by foreign fishing fleets and this in

turn had led to a need for greater international co-operation

in the problems of fisheries management.

The Commonwealth Government now had increased

legislative responsibility for fisheries, greater respons-ibilities in patrolling and otherwise protecting the industry,

and growing responsibilities internationally through such

organisations as F.A.00

Mr. Anthony said an additional Branch would be

established in the Bureau of Agricultural Economics.

L1..

The need for this stemmed mainly from increased

demands being made on the Bureau for more and deeper study

of the economics of the primary industries and for expansion

of the Bureau's market situation and outlook work, and from

growing Commonwealth involvement in the search for sound

solutions to rural industry problems.

He said "Governments will be called upon to

provide more information and economic analysis on which

farmers and farm organisations can base their decisions,

and Governments will themselves require more economic studies

on which their policies can be based."

Mr. Anthony said a new Assistant Director would be

appointed to head the new Branch, which would bring the

Bureau's branches to four - Land Use, Wool and Beef Research,

Economic Analysis and Projects, Commodity Analysis.

Canberra, 16th March, 1970.