175 Minute from Anderson to Scully

Canberra, 9 December 1981

CER Dairy Products

There has been little progress towards the development of appropriate arrangement for dairy products within a CER

  • in view of proposed meeting of Permanent Heads in late January/early February and the March/April meeting of Prime Ministers there is an urgent need to speed up progress on this key issue.

Cabinet agreed in May on industry to industry consultations on dairy products and at the Ministerial talks in Wellington Mr Anthony proposed that such consultations would be under the umbrella of the two governments.

Within this Department we have reviewed various options for fitting dairy into a CER. We are coming to the view that

  • industry consultations should certainly be central in the formation of a government umbrella which would provide for growth in New Zealand's access to the Australian market
  • to rely on annual industry to industry consultations to set access limits would lead to repeated dead-locks with governments being drawn in to find solutions
  • there must be a high degree of automaticity in the access growth.

There have been no inter-industry talks to date

  • and from the comments of DPI representatives at a CER Inter-departmental meeting yesterday, they are still very reluctant to take any initiative to ensure that the two industries talk together
    • and again seem to be suggesting a minute from Mr Anthony to Mr Nixon is necessary.

It might assist progress if you talk to Mr Duthie on

  • the steps necessary to ensure industry discussion at the Joint Dairy Industry Consultative Committee Meeting in January
  • and on the appropriate officers to contact on this matter within his Department.

[NAA: A1313/113, 8211381, iii]