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Victory for wool growers in The Senate

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8-Dec-98 5:25PM; Page 4/9 3nt By: Media Monitors Australia; 123;

P a r l i a m e n t a r y S e c r e t a r y to the M i n i s t e r f o r A g r i c u l t u r e , F i s h e r i e s and F o r e s t r y

Judith Troeth

A FFA98/17T 7 December 1998


Senator Troeth, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry welcomed the passage of the Wool International Amendment Bill 1998 through the Senate today.

The purpose of the Bill is to freeze sales from the Wool International stockpile and allow Wool International to support and commit funds to a process of privatisation.

The passage of the Bill is the first stage in the process of privatisation of the wool stockpile. The Office of Asset Sales and IT Outsourcing will manage the Wool International privatisation process in close cooperation with industry stakeholders.

Senator Troeth said, "Discussion about the most appropriate model for privatisation will be determined after further consultation between the relevant stakeholders in the coming months."

"Privatisation of Wool International means it will become a new entity, established under Corporations Law that will be commercially operated and grower controlled through their equity.

"Future roles will be based on commercial decisions in the interests of equity holders, without Commonwealth involvement"

Senator Troeth said, "The Coalition is committed to enabling industry to manage its own affairs as seen in the recent privatisation of the meat and grains authorities."

"This has been the position of the wool industry for some time and the Coalition has delivered.

"In the wool debate, the Labor Party wanted to prolong the involvement of the Commonwealth in tine process of privatisation which would have restricted the industry's capacity to be completely autonomous."

Further information: Alex Staples (02) 6277 3002 or 0417 449 921

P arliam ent H ouse C anberra ACT 2600 T elephone: (02) 6277 3002 Facsim ile: (02) 6277 3205

Unit 1 322-332 StKildaRoad St Kilda Victoria 3182 Telephone: (03) 9593 9511 Facsimile: (03) 9593 9971