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Wednesday, 23 October 1974
Page: 1871

Senator WEBSTER (VICTORIA) -My question is addressed to the Minister for Agriculture. Has the Government reached a decision in relation to the stabilisation assistance to be given to apple and pear growers for exports in the 1975 season? If not, does the Minister know the present position and can he say when a decision may be announced?

Senator WRIEDT - Last year, in conjunction with the Governments of Tasmania and Western Australia, the Australian Government provided the greatest level of support to the fresh fruit industry in the history of the industry in this country. If it had not been for the action of the Australian Government it is almost certain that the fruit industry in Tasmania at least would have collapsed completely. Submissions have been made to me in respect of the forthcoming 1975 season. I am currently considering those submissions. Essentially, the Government has two alternatives- either to enter again into a guarantee arrangement with State governments or in some way to modify the stabilisation payments. I will not be in a position to make an announcement on this matter until three or four weeks time. As soon as a decision has been made it will be made public.

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