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How consistent is Mr Keating?

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NewsNATIONAL FARMERS FEDERATIONNR 21/92 27 March, 1992The\ National Farmers' Federation savs the Prime M inister has opened Pandora's box with his comments onjanflyirotection.N FFs Executive Director, Mr Rick Farley, pointed out that many farmers are hurt by reductions in tariffs.Thousands already have been forced out o f the dairy, sugar and horticultural industries.These industries face further reductions in assistance to levels well below those applying to textiles, clothing and footwear and motor vehicles."NFF consistently has argued that reductions in protection are in the best interests of the overall economy and protected industries themselves," M r Farley said."This view has been difficult for many farmers to accept"NFFs position has been undermined because the same adjustment pressures have not been applied to all industries."Assistance for agriculture has been reduced much faster than assistance for most other industries."There have been different rules for labour intensive industries, particularly those located in marginal electorates."Farmers now have strong reasons to further question the Government's approach."Mr Keating says he is, 'not going to destroy industries that have absolutely no chance of surviving on zero tariffs'.""Will he now guarantee that protection for dairy farmers, sugar-cane growers and fruit and vegetable growers and other farmers will not be reduced below 25 per cent, or even 15 per cent?"They have a better case for protection than TCF or motor vehicle workers because their problems arise mainly from subsidised agriculture in other countries."If Mr Keating will not give such a guarantee, he stands accused of gross inconsistency and hypocrisy."There should be no difference in the treatment o f cane growers in Hinkler and motor industry or TCF workers in Wills."They are all part o f the One Nation."For further information:Rick Farley NFF (06) 2733 855home (06) 295 1655NFF House 14-16 Brisbane Avenue Barton ACT 2600 FO Box El 0 Q ueen Victoria Terrace ACT 2600 Tel (06) 273 3855 Fax (06) 273 2311