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Australian Agricultural Council: Consultative Committee on Drought



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P.R ES S

MINISTER DWI

.STATEMENT Jj

? PRIMARY INDUSTRY

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AUSTRALIA AGRICULTURAL COUNCIL

CONSU LTAT IVE COMMITTTT EE ONDROUGHT

The establishment of a Commonwealth State Consultative Committee on Drought was approved today by-the Australian Agricultural Councils The Committee will consider recurring drought problems of an interstate, multi-State or Commonwealth/State nature.

The Acting Chairman of the Council, Mr. Nixon, said these matters would involve questions of drought relief, drought rehabilitation and drought mitigation, The Committee also would consider the question of encouragement of forms of land use and farm management practices that took account of the permanent risk of drought, as well as other matters relevent to combatting drought or mitigating its effects on the rural industries.

Mrs Nixon said the Committee would consult authorities, including Lands Departments, with competence in regard to drought problems. The Committee would report to the Council through the Standing Committee on Agriculture and it was expected that the

Committee's findings would be valuable co the Commonwealth and State Government in formulating policy,

The Committee would comprise representatives of State Departments of Agriculture and Primary Industries, the Commonwealth Department of Primary Industry, the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, CSIRO and the Department of the Interior.

The Council had expressed concern at the serious drought situation in Queensland where direct drought losses in 1969-70 were estimated at $218 million or 27% of the normal gross value of rural production for the State, It noted that the situation in Northern N.S.W. was deteriorating.

Mt. Hagen 30th June, 1970.