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Wednesday, 14 August 1974
Page: 881

Senator DEVITT (TASMANIA) -I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Manufacturing Industry: In view of the defeat of the Australian Industry Development Corporation legislation in the Senate yesterday, what can now be done to meet the real expectations of primary producers in north-west Tasmania for the establishment of a food processing and canning co-operative industry based upon local production? The cooperative would have been possible had the legislation been passed and would have meant a better return to primary producers in the northwest region of Tasmania and substantially reduced costs to the consuming public for foodstuffs processed and marketed through the proposed co-operative, the planning of which had been fully examined and approved. Will the Government in the light of the present situation urgently consider any other avenue for enabling such an industry to be established and so meet the very real expectations of the beneficiaries of such an industry, namely, the fanners and the consumers?

Senator WRIEDT -There have been moves over recent months- I suppose over the last 18 months- by grower representatives on the northwest coast of Tasmania to form a vegetable processing co-operative. Approaches had been made to the Australian Industry Development Corporation to assist in the financial arrangements for such a venture. However, the AIDC is inhibited by the restrictions which are placed on it by the existing legislation. It is true that the result of the failure of the Senate yesterday to pass the new legislation is that the proposed cooperative, like all other fanning co-operatives, will now be compelled to seek financial assistance by other means which may be available to it. Certainly one of the points of the legislation was to assist co-operatives in their financial arrangements and to get them off the ground. Nevertheless, I am sure that public opinion will make our opponents recognise the desirability of the passage of that legislation through the Senate in the future.

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