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Thursday, 27 April 1972
Page: 1364

Senator TOWNLEY (TASMANIA) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the

Minister for Primary Industry. Is the Minister aware that approximately 1,000 acres of orchards in Tasmania are being bulldozed each year due to the difficulty of the owners in continuing in this once profitable industry? Is the Minister able to say whether any early action can be expected to aid this very important but ailing Tasmanian primary industry.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Air) - I am aware of the practice to which the honourable senator refers. I can well understand his concern over the increasing development of this practice, just as I can well understand the concern of the orchard owners who have to make the decision, particularly after giving a lifetime to the growing of these trees in their orchards. I think the honourable senator will recall that at the last Australian Agricultural Council meeting some Ministers of Agriculture from the various States drew attention to this matter and certain proposals were submitted to the Minister for Primary Industry for his examination. At the present time the Minister is examining the proposals. However, he has not reached any conclusions. Should he do so in the near future, I will convey them to the honourable senator.

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