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Thursday, 24 October 1974
Page: 1927

Senator GIETZELT (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is the Leader of the Government in the Senate aware that the price of bread in New South Wales has risen to 41c a loaf, the fourth increase in 5 months? Has the Minister noted that this rise means that the price of bread- a staple part of family diet- has risen by 32 per cent since the Federal elections in May? Does the Minister acknowledge that monopolisation is now a feature of the baking industry and that this rise is the highest commodity rise in the period? Will the Government give urgent consideration to ordering an inquiry into the blatant disregard of community interests by bread manufacturers?

Senator MURPHY - The honourable senator indicated that monopolisation is now a feature of the baking industry. My understanding is that that has been the position for some considerable time; for some years the baking industry or the bread industry has been highly monopolised. I am unable to assure the honourable senator with any degree of certainty, but my understanding is that through a series of subsidiaries there is an enormous concentration of control of the Australian bread industry in the Uunited States of America. It is through the operations of what I understand to be an extremely tight monopoly that the price of bread has increased by this extraordinary amount. I agree that this matter ought to be looked into by the appropriate authorities, including the committee of this Parliament which is concerned with prices, and also the Prices Justification Tribunal.

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