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Thursday, 30 September 1971
Page: 1723


Mr LLOYD (MURRAY, VICTORIA) - My question is addressed to the Prime Minister in his capacity of Acting Treasurer. In recent times there has been some publicity concerning the problems facing pear growers in the Goulburn Valley of Victoria. Would the Acting Treasurer agree that the action of the Reserve Bank of Australia in refusing permission for the Goulburn Valley canneries to pay growers money owing to them at the end of August has aggravated the problems in the Goulburn Valley? Will he take steps to see whether the Reserve Bank can take a more lenient view of the problems being faced by the Goulburn Valley growers?


Mr McMAHON - I am sure that the' honourable gentleman will remember that the Commonwealth Government agreed to make available $4,200,000 to the Victorian Government to be paid to the fruit interests in the Goulburn Valley. We are now in the course of arranging for a final payment of $200,000 to be paid to the Victorian Government so that it can be made to growers. The honourable gentleman will remember that during the course of his election campaign I visited his electorate and I was then well informed of the problem relating to pears and the canning problems associated with them. Consequently I have watched carefully what has been happening to see whether it would be practicable for the Commonwealth Government to take action. So far as the actions of the Reserve Bank are concerned and so far as rural credit is concerned I must point out to the honourable gentleman that this is completely within the jurisdiction of the Reserve Bank. The Government has ho right to dictate to the Reserve Bank how it should act. I think it would be impudent for the Government 'to attempt to do so. Nonetheless, what I will do, because I think this is desirable, is to ask the Treasury officials in co-operation with the Department of Primary Industry to have a look at the question raised by 1 the honourable member and, if necessary, to take it up with the banking authorities. When I can give him a reply I will be only " too happy to do so.







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