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Tuesday, 26 September 1972
Page: 1188

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) -BROCKMAN - On 20th April 1972 Senator Townley asked me a question without notice concerning the damaging effect which the import of blue peas from New Zealand was having on the Tasmanian blue pea industry. I gave an undertaking to obtain further information on this industry.

The Minister for Trade and Industry has provided me with the following information:

Information supplied by the industry indicates that local demand for blue peas is about 2,500 tons per annum. Above average crops in 1969-70, and 1970-71, particularly 1970-71 when 4,533 tons were produced, created a situation of oversupply on the domestic market. This situation was aggravated by the loss of export markets of more than 400 tons during 1971-72. Consequently merchants had above average stocks at the beginning of 1972. Processors also had higher than normal stocks due to increased purchasing during 1971.

It is clear from investigations carried out by the Department of Trade and Industry that New Zealand import competition in the form of prices offered by New Zealand exporters as well as actual imports landed played some part in the fall in blue pea prices on the domestic market. I have therefore asked the Department of Trade and Industry to write as soon as possible to the New Zealand Government officials informing them that it is intended to raise blue peas at the Joint Australia/New Zealand Pea and Bean Industry panel meeting on 19th October 1972 with a view to arranging a solution to the problem which is satisfactory to both countries.

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