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Tuesday, 11 October 1983
Page: 1606

Question No. 85

Mr McVeigh asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 4 May 1983:

Will he permit the Australian Wheat Board to borrow overseas to enable payments to growers to be made as soon as possible and at minimal interest charges.

Mr Kerin —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The Government decided, in the context of the decisions announced in the May statement on the economy, that the Australian Wheat Board would be permitted to finance up to 50 per cent of its annual prospective net financing requirements by overseas borrowings in respect of each wheat season, commencing from the 1983 -84 season. This decision, which was implemented by legislation passed in the 1983 Autumn sittings, gave effect to a reform long sought by the Australian Wheatgrowers Federation. It provides the potential for considerable savings to the benefit of growers by enabling the Board to reduce hedging costs on overseas sales and to take advantage of lower overseas interest rates.