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Tuesday, 28 September 1971
Page: 1525

Mr HALLETT (CANNING, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - My question is addressed to the Minister for Primary Industry. Since the statement in the

Treasurer's Budget Speech that the Government intends to introduce a deficiency payment for the Australian wool clip, the Minister for Primary Industry has stated that all wool, whether sold privately or by auction, would be eligible for such a payment. In view of the Minister's most recent statement regardng proposals to exclude privately sold wool from this payment, will the Minister clarify the situation and confirm his original statement?

Mr SINCLAIR - There has been no change in the Government's policy concerning what wool is to be deemed eligible for subsidy. However, some concern has resulted from the fact that at auction sales in Western Australia there has been a far higher level of purchases by the Australian Wool Commission at rates ruling throughout Australia than at sales in the eastern States. For that reason, when I was in Western Australia recently 1 highlighted the wish of the Government that growers should receive ruling market values for their clips, It is of concern to the Government that individual wool growers, however they market their wool, be paid at what are at the moment barely satisfactory rates from the point of view of the profitability of wool growing. It appears that certain wool growers who are selling privately have been placed at a disadvantage since the opening of auction sales this year. I can assure the House that the position remains as set out in my statement to this House; wool sold either privately or at auction is eligible for support under the Commonwealth's wool price support scheme.

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