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Wednesday, 23 May 1973
Page: 2485


Mr Grassby - Mr Deputy Speaker, further to the point of order--

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! The Minister for Immigration will resume his seat. I am of opinion, from the way I heard the Leader of the Country Party, that he referred to the present Government.

Mr Grassby - He mentioned my name.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - Order! I did not hear him mention your name. It was my opinion that he mentioned the present Government. If he mentioned your name I suggest he should withdraw that reference. But I did not hear him mention your name.

Mr ANTHONY - It is a pity that my time has been deliberately taken up. I ask these final questions: Is the Government intent on imposing criteria of economic efficiency on rural industries that it is not prepared to impose, for political reasons, on other sectors of the economy? Is it not a fact that the Government is intent on a redistribution of resources and incomes away from the rural sector? Does the Government recognise that there is an economic case, on grounds of efficient use of national resources, for providing for rural industries some offset to the effect of industrial protections on costs, prices and wages, and consequently on the incomes of producers? Finally, is the Government prepared to regard the problems of rural industries as worthy of Government consideration and support in the same way and sense that it is concerned with the problems of people living in urban areas? In short, Australia's primary producers want to know just where this Government stands. Until they know that they will not know where they, themselves, are going.

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