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Thursday, 10 May 1973
Page: 2046

Mr Kerin asked the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice:

(1)   Hasthe Minister's attention been drawn to the difficult situation smaller stock feed manufacturers face in securing supplies of bran, pollard and meatmeal.

(2)   On what basis is the price of flour fixed for home consumption.

(3)   On what basis is the price of mill offals fixed. (4)Is it a fact that prices of up to $43.00 per metric ton are being charged for bran and pollard by mills in a favoured position for the same products whose quoted price is $33.50 (bran) and $35.50 (pollard) per metric ton. (5)Do flour millers who manufacture stock feed cost bran and pollard into their feed at $52.00 per on.

(6)   How many flour mills have ceased operation in Australia in the last (a) 12 months and (b) 5 years.

(7)   How many tons of meatmeal were (a) exported and (b) consumed locally in stock feed manufacture in 1971-72.

(8)   Are increases in the price of wheat passed on entirely into the price of flour when millers adjust prices.

Dr Patterson - The Minister for Primary Industry has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   No, t understand that normal supplies of bran and pollard are available in the two important stockfeed manufacturing States of New South Wales and Victoria. However, the demand for bran and pollard for stock feed purposes has increased as a result of adverse seasonal conditions. Exports of bran and pollard from New South Wales and Victoria have been negligible. 1 am advised that adequate supplies of meat meals are available and exports are being closely controlled.

(2)   , (3), (4),(5) The Comonwealth has no Constitutional, legislative or administrative authority with respect to the pricing of flour and mill offals for domestic usage. The determination of the price of these products is a matter for the commercial enterprises concerned. The price charged to users of mill offals in various areas is not known to my Department nor has the Department any knowledge of the element of cost in stock foods prepared by flour millers which is attributable to the bran and pollard content.

(6)   In the wheat crop year ending 30 November 1972 four flour mills ceased operations. For the five years ending 30 November 1972, fourteen mills went out of floor production.

(7)   (a) Exports of meat meals from Australia totalled some 80,000 short tons in 1971-72. (b) Domestic production of meat meals in 1971-72 was 380,552 tons so that approximately 300,000 tons would have been available to the local market Precise figures relating to the quantity of meat meal used is stock feed manufacture are not available.

(8)   No precise information is available to me (see answers to (2), (3), (4) and (5)).

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