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Wednesday, 19 September 1973
Page: 1224

Mr McVEIGH (DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND) - I ask a question of the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry. In view of the Government's stated intention of spending $ 1.25m on publicising Government activities, will he state whether it is a fact that the present price obtainable on the world market for Australian standard white wheat is an all time record of approximately $143 per tonne? Is it also a fact that the price for wheat used in Australia (a) for home consumption is $64.65 per tonne; (b) for industrial users $56.98 per tonne; and (c) for feed users $47.77 per tonne? If these are facts, will he publicise on the first page of the first edition of all relevant Government publications the magnificent subsidisation by Australian wheat farmers of the domestic wheat users of Australia in order to counter commonly held, erroneous socialistic beliefs that the community is subsidising the Australian wheat farmers?

Mr GRASSBY (RIVERINA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Immigration) - Of course the situation is that the wheat stabilisation scheme which has operated very successfully over a whole generation was introduced by a Labor Government. I might also say that the Australian wheat industry, through its Federation and the Australian Wheat Board, is at present examining in concert with the Minister for Primary Industry the matter of the re-negotiation of that wheat stabilisation scheme. These discussions are going ahead. When the honourable member refers to the health and state of the Australian wheat industry I think that he would be well advised to have a look at the actions of his own Administration which caused widespread hardship in recent years.

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