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Tuesday, 8 November 1977
Page: 3118

Mr Scholes asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 14 September 1977:

(1)   Has he informed beef greyer organisations that the Government will back any stabilisation scheme agreed upon by the States.

(2)   If so, did he indicate the basis of the support.

(3)   What limits will be placed on the quantity of beef accepted at guaranteed prices.

(4)   Has the Government indicated what approximate level of financial assistance will be available from the Commonwealth for a beef stabilisation and classification scheme.

(5)   If not, will the industry and the States be disadvantaged in discussions on a stabilisation scheme if this basic information is not available during the planning stages.

Mr Sinclair - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) and (2) No. I have, however, given an assurance that if all States can get together on a domestic price stabilisation scheme then the Commonwealth will introduce the necessary supporting legislation. (3), (4) and (5) The Government is not yet committed to any form of beef stabilisation scheme. A working party has been set up by the Australian Agricultural Council to make a comprehensive assessment of all domestic and export price support proposals and I have requested that study be made of stabilisation arrangements of a buffer fund character. Until such time that there is agreement on a specific stabilisation scheme it is not possible to say what quantity of beef might be covered or what levels of financial assistance from the Commonwealth might be involved. Certainly the State governments and the beef industry will be consulted before any stabilisation proposal is finalised. I announced on 22 September that the Commonwealth will provide up to $6m towards the establishment and capital costs of implementing carcass classification in beef cattle chains.

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