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Wednesday, 6 October 1971
Page: 1952

Mr LLOYD (Murray) - Mr Chairman,I would like to refer to a couple of points with regard to this amendment because the honourable member for Dawson (Dr Patterson) has mentioned my position in this matter, and I think the honourable member for Wilmot (Mr Duthie) did also in his speech last night. The amendment as it is moved does not solve the problem that I was trying to explain last night. The problem that I was trying to explain really concerns the relative position of pears and apples under this legislation. I was not referring to the total cover of 4.4 million bushels, 5 million bushels, 6 million bushels or 7 million bushels but to the relative proportions of the two types of fruit. The point I was trying to make and which evidently has not been understood properly is that because of the overwhelming strength of apples as against that of pears - the ratio of apple exports to pear exports is 4 to I, or 80 per cent of the total - the pear grower feels himself to be very exposed in that he has not any form of guarantee that what he considers to be a reasonable share of any assistance under this scheme can be saved for him. In other words, the quantity of apples sold at risk can dominate the total scheme.

The point is that no matter what happens the quantity of pears sold at risk could probably not exceed H million bushels per annum, but as I pointed out last night the quantity of apples sold at risk could easily rise from about 3.3 million bushels to over 6 million bushels. Even if the figure were lifted to 7 million bushels we still would not be guaranteeing against what the fresh pear exporters of the Goulburn Valley consider to be their vulnerable position. If an amendment were moved to guarantee the stability of this section of the industry it would have to provide that about 20 per cent of the assistance under this scheme be reserved for the pear industry or that some minimum figure per bushel be established below which the support price of pears may not drop. The reason why I do not intend to proceed with any amendment is that the Minister for Primary Industry (Mr Sinclair) gave an assurance in his second reading speech that if a relative lack of fair treatment for the pear section becomes apparent he will review the situation. I wanted to make that point clear. Really it is a case of the relative strengths of the pear section and the apple section within the scheme.

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