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Tuesday, 18 April 1972
Page: 1146

Senator POKE - Can the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry inform the Senate whether there is any. foundation for a report currently being circulated to the effect that the Government is intending to continue the operations of the wool reserve price scheme which originally was intended to expire in June this year? Is it likely that legislation to establish the new Australian wool authority will be brought before the Parliament before the winter recess? Is the Government likely to make such a far-reaching decision before it has received the report from the Randall Committee on future plans for the wool industry? What amount of money does the Government envisage to spending on the continuation of the wool reserve price scheme?

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN - The honourable senator has asked me a number of questions, some of which I had difficulty in following because I think he has mixed up one or two points. The Government has not said that it will terminate the wool reserve price scheme this year. What the Government has said, and said time and time again, is that the deficiency payments made over the whole clip up to an average of 36c per lb would be for one year only and would cease on 30th June this year. The matter of the establishment of a wool authority is still receiving Cabinet examination; so I cannot give any further information on it. The honourable senator asked 2 other questions, one about the cost of the scheme. If the honourable senator put his question on the notice paper, that would be the best way to deal with it.

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