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Tuesday, 26 November 1974
Page: 2714

Senator RAE (TASMANIA) - I ask the Minister for Agriculture: Is it a fact that in April 1 974 he announced a 2-year $28m dairy adjustment assistance scheme? What steps have been taken to implement that scheme? Why is it that Tasmanian dairy farmers have not yet received any funds?

Senator WRIEDT - It is not a question of Tasmanian dairy farmers not having received any funds. The fact is that no dairy farmers have yet received any funds under the scheme. The reason is, of course, that legislation had to go through the Parliament. The first stage has been through the Parliament and the second stage is now before the Parliament. The reason that funds have not been made available to dairy farmers in implementation of the first stage is that the necessary machinery has to be established with the State Governments. There has been no lack of interest or expedition on the part of this Government in endeavouring to reach finality with the States. I think the present position is that all States have indicated their preparedness to take part in the scheme, including the Tasmanian Government. As soon as finality is reached moneys can be made available. It is unfortunate that the scheme has taken some months to get under way but it is a vast improvement on the many years that it took the previous Government to wake up to the fact that something was wrong with the old system that it was using.

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