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Tuesday, 14 October 1975
Page: 2034

Mr DUTHIE (WILMOT, TASMANIA) -I ask a question of the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture. In view of the sudden, dramatic and disastrous fall in the price of milk powder, on overseas markets from $400 a tonne to $250 a tonne with the consequent reduction of 10c per lb to our dairymen, will the Government consider financial assistance in some form to the affected sector of the dairy industry if an official application is made to the Government by the industry with a detailed submission as to the extent, and the effect of the setback?

Dr PATTERSON (DAWSON, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for Northern Australia) - I do not carry these figures in my head but I doubt that what the honourable member said about -the world price dropping from $400 a tonne to $250 a tonne is correct. I think the honourable Member will find that that is the figure in respect of the equalisation interim value. This has been due certainly to the fall in world prices for skim milk powder, which is causing concern to some sections of the dairy industry, particularly those producing that type of product. A problem could develop as many dairy farmers could perhaps turn to the supply of alternative products to companies making condensary products. I will raise this matter with the Minister for Agriculture. The second part of the question asked by the honourable member refers to a matter of policy. I will raise those matters with the Minister for Agriculture.

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