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Thursday, 26 September 1974
Page: 1434

Senator McLAREN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) -Has the Minister for Agriculture seen a statement in yesterday's Melbourne 'Herald' newspaper attributed to a member of the local branch of the Victorian Farmers Union to the effect that Senator Wriedt has 3 times refused to address farmers in Warrnambool and also that Senator Wriedt 's appointment to the Agriculture portfolio was an attempt to downgrade the portfolio? Are these statements correct or is it true that the State President of the Victorian Farmers Union recently described the present Minister for Agriculture as being the best Agriculture Minister for 20 years?

Senator WRIEDT (TASMANIA) (Minister for Agriculture) - I saw the accusation. I am not referring to the one about my being the best Minister for Agriculture but to the statement that I did not appear in Warrnambool. I was invited to attend a meeting at Warrnambool last April. Because of another meeting at Warragul in Victoria on the same night I was unable to be in Warrnambool. However, I arranged for a public meeting to be held at Warrnambool. From memory, it was held on 13 May and was attended by about 100 people. I want to assure the farmers, and especially the dairy farmers, in Warrnambool that I am quite happy to talk to them at any time when I can find the time. I hope that, in view of the comment that has been made, I will be able to visit Warrnambool again before the end of the year. I also want to assure them as dairy farmers that I am just as interested in the problem of fats as they are, be they polyunsaturated fats or other types of fats.

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