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Tuesday, 19 November 1974
Page: 2473

Senator LAUCKE (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I address this question to the Minister for Agriculture. Is the Minister aware of the great concern among all citrus growers at the delay in renewing the expired sugar agreement under which the Fruit Industry Sugar Concession Committee operates? As SO per cent of the Australian citrus crop is now sold for juicing and as this outlet has a vital stabilising influence on the whole of the citrus market, will the Minister press for the renewal of the agreement as a matter of urgency?

Senator WRIEDT - It has been customary for many years now for the rebate referred to by Senator Laucke to be paid to the fruit industry as a result of an agreement with the sugar industry. The delay this year has been protracted mainly because of the need to renegotiate the CommonwealthQueensland Sugar Agreement, of which the rebate under the FISCC arrangements is a part. Agreement has been reached with the industry. Of course, this is not my responsibility; it is that of Dr Patterson, Minister for Northern Development. I assume that he will make a statement this week indicating that agreement has been reached.

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