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Tuesday, 27 November 1973
Page: 2107

Senator DURACK (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - My question is directed to the Minister for Primary Industry. I refer to the decision of the Government to give some alternative assistance to the dairying industry as a result of the withdrawal of the bounty and also to an answer which the Minister gave me some weeks ago saying that he hoped to announce such an assistance program by, I think, the end of October. Is he aware of the importance of such a decision being made public well before the commencement of the next production season which in Western Australia commences in March or April next year? How soon can one expect an announcement by the Government on this assistance program?

Senator WRIEDT - This is a fair question. Having been overseas for the last couple of weeks, as the honourable senator would be aware, I must confess that I have had this on my mind also. Before I left I checked with my Department to see that it was furthering the research it had been doing into alternative forms of assistance to the dairying industry. A decision had not been taken quickly on this matter because we wanted to make sure that we got a complete cross-section of opinion not only from the States but from the industry as well as to what efforts should be made, because the requirement will vary from State to State. I will be looking at this matter this week. I hope that, certainly before the Parliament rises, I will be able to make a statement of a fairly detailed nature as to what the alternative assistance will entail.

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