THE BALDERSTONE REPORT: AN OVERVIEW
Frank G. Jarrett
Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 1983, vol. 27, issue 2, 7
In September 1981, the then Minister for Primary Industry set up a Working Group under the Chairmanship of Sir James Balderstone to prepare, within one year, a policy discussion paper on agriculture. The terms of reference were wide-ranging and included the need to identify the major policy issues and options relating to the agricultural sector. The relevant time horizon was taken to be the 1980s. The terms of reference were: (a) intersectoral relationships affecting agriculture, including resource development, wages policy and assistance to other sectors; (b) trade policy, in particular the impact of the Common Agriculture Policy of the EEC; (c) factors affecting technical and economic efficiency in agriculture; (d) current government assistance to agriculture, including the financial aspects of rural credit and taxation; (e) the marketing of farm products, including the role of statutory bodies; (f) agricultural resource management, including soil and water conservation; and (g) 'animal husbandry measures' which the Group interpreted as covering some of the problems of the intensive livestock industries and live sheep exports which have attracted the concern of some animal liberation and welfare movements. It would be impossible to discuss all of the terms of reference in detail in this overview. What I propose to do is to raise some of the conceptual and philosophical issues which might be reflected in the Report and then to discuss some of the specific policy recommendations which might provide a basis for more detailed discussion. It is important to emphasise that the Group's instructions were to provide a discussion paper and not to come up with a White Paper (in the old terminology) which might have been construed as actual government policy with respect to the rural sector.
Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy; International Relations/Trade (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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