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Tuesday, 17 October 1972
Page: 1560

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry aware that the Federal Council of the Australian Meat Industry Employees Union has expressed concern at the sale of synthetic meat in Australia and is anxious to secure the cooperation of all concerned parties on a federal level to formulate a policy to combat the spread in sale of this commodity? Is the marketing of synthetic meat largely confined at the moment to specialist health food shops? Is the Government concerned in any way that it could become a real threat to the meat industry in Australia? Will the Government consider calling a representative conference of the industry, including representation from the Meat Industry Employees Union, for the purpose of producing a plan to meet the possibility of the manufacture of simulated meat in Australia?

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Air) - The question raised by the honourable senator is very important. This matter was raised in earlier times by the chairman of the Australian Meat Board who expressed himself very strongly in regard to the future of synthetic meat and the dire effect that it could have on the meat industry in Australia if its use developed to the same proportions as synthetics have developed in relation to the wool industry. Concern has been expressed on this subject by the Australian Agricultural Council also. The Minister for Primary Industry has raised this matter at meetings of the Agricultural Council on a number of occasions and has asked all States to co-operate with him and to review their legislation. He has written to State Ministers concerned with this matter and it is my understanding that he has been promised full co-operation from them. In view of what the honourable senator has asked I most certainly will direct the question to the Minister and, if I am able to obtain further information, I shall do so.

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