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Transcript of remarks at the Zone U.F.W.A Convention, Cowra



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PR ES S

MINISTER FOR

TAT EM £ N I zww , : ^L PRIMARY I D U

Transcript of remarks by Mr. Anthonyat the Zone 4 U.F.W.A.

Convention at Cowra N.S.W. Tuesda 2nd November, 1970

One thing I want to say, and I apologise for being political here, but I say it because I'm a farmer myself, my whole instinct is with rural people and the problems they have, and because I'm responsible for primary industry in Australia.

What I say is that I have a tremendous concern for the increasing wage rises taking place in this country and the impost they are placing on our rural export industries. I just wonder how long they can keep up with it.

Z saw in the Sydney Morning Herald this morning two advertisements inserted by carrying firms. Here's one announcement of increased cartage rates for the carriage of parcels in small consignments: 'Increases in wages ranging from $8 to `;10.30 per week have been granted to transport workers in New South Wales. Wages constitute a major proportion of the costs in the carrying

industry and the increase granted, in conjunction with increases in other operating costs, have made it necessary that cartage rates be adjusted. Rates will be increased by 13 per cent.'

And another advertisement in increases force freight forwarding New South Wales warehousing and di by 9.5 per cent.

If anything hits the country shopkeeper or a primary producer -ingredient.

this morning's Herald: 'Wages rates up', and it talks about stribution rates being increased

people - whether you be a freight is a terribly important

Roaring wage policies in this country are going to be disastrous to primary industries. But when you have unions militant unions - demanding increases - incessant increases, and there seems to be no limit to them - a policy saying that only benefit can come to the wage-earner by increasing wages, then I

say it's a short-lived policy and can only bring devastation.

But on top of that to talk in terms now of a 35-hour week for this nation would spell the death-knell to you all. We cannot stand it as a nation, and we've got to fight it.

This is a political matter that concerns everybody in this nation.

No nation in the world has moved down yet to a 35-hour week. I'm not saying that we should take an immutable position regarding this question, but there's got to be some consideration for industries - particularly export industries.

There are industries, of course, where a 35-hour week has applied - in the mining industry, underground, but who wouldn't agree to that sort of situation. But to apply it generally would be quite disastrous.

2

When I read a statement in Saturday's paper with Dr. Patterson saying that it won't apply to rural workers, all I can say is he's stupid, conceited and deceitful.

He's deceitful because he should know this won't save primary producers. This won't mean that all the producer's material costs — his local government rates, his freight, his electricity charges — won't increase.

He's conceited because who is he to make A.L.P. policy? He isn't the leader. He's not the leader of the A.C.T.U.

Both the Labor Party and the A.C.T.U. have declared a policy on this matter.

And I say he's stupid because, as the shadow Minister for Primary Industry, and one who ought to be coming to the defence of primary industry, he shouldn't make such a statement.-

RELEASED IN CANBERRA 2nd November, 1970