It gives me great pleasure to welcome to this our 1943 Conference all our visitors and the members present. It is most gratifying to me, as President, to see to many distinguished men amongst our visitors. It clearly proves to we Inspectors of Stock, the interest that is taken in our Institute by these gentlemen who hold high rank in the political world, and in the various sections of the animal industry of this State, and also by the Press. It is also most pleasing to see so many officers of the various sections of the Division of Animal Industry to which we are attached. It gives us an opportunity to meet each other, to develop that co-operation and team spirit that is essential to get the best and most effective results on our work.
As usual, an interesting and informative programme of lectures. Papers and demonstrations have been arranged. Much valuable discussion should follow the hearing of these addresses.
The suspension of the Horse Breeding Act is regretted. Unfortunately it was unavoidable. However, we sincerely hope that when it again comes into operation that this Act will extend to cover cattle, sheep and pigs, as control in this regard is badly needed. The amended P.P. Bill which is under consideration will be a vast improvement on the 1934 Act, and shall make our work much more effective, but there were many valuable suggested amendments omitted. Their inclusion would have made the Act more effective.
Now it has become clear that the war leaders of the United Nations are devoting considerable time to the problems which must be solved promptly after the termination of hostilities. I suggest that Pastures Protection Board and Stock Inspectors should contribute to the future prosperity and safety of Australia by preparing definite proposals for consideration by the Department of Agriculture, and subsequent submission to the Government.
There is general agreement that Australia must have a much larger population if it is to survive as a white and English speaking nation. but it is not generally recognised that a larger population can only be obtained and supported if the natural resources of Australia are fully developed and protected.
This is the time for P.P. Boards and Stock Inspectors with their intimate knowledge of Australia's requirements to play a big part in formulating practical proposals for development and subsequently implementing such proposals.
For several years after the war there will be more work than our limited population can do in providing current civilian needs and building up stocks of supplies, but the greatest danger to Australia is that the men and women who have joined the fighting forces or transferred from the country to the cities in war production will remain in the cities.
If this happens the already overgrown cities will continue to grow, and ultimately react to the disadvantage of the city dwellers, because the inevitable result will be a shortage of primary products which are not only the foundation of our secondary industries and our prosperity, but essential for our existence.
It is realised that a vicious circle can be easily created by spending millions of pounds upon housing in the cities, which in turn will require millions of pounds for water and sewerage, transport (road, rail and tram), schools, hospitals, and many other essential public services.
I suggest a change of method of approach to the problem, a method that will develop our natural resources, increase our production both primary and secondary, decentralise our population, and yet enable Sydney to retain its position as the leading commercial centre of the State.
Every Stock Inspector knows what is needed, for instance—
Prevention of soil erosion.
Protection of pastures and stock from the ravages of noxious weeds, birds and animals.
Canning and dehydration of meat, vegetables and other crops both for local consumption by people and animals, and for export.
Every Stock Inspector knows that the Pastures Protection Boards are fully qualified by knowledge and experience to control all matters affecting pastures and stock. The organisation and machinery are already set up and it is suggested that the Government seriously consider the preparation of proposals along the lines indicated, and give Pastures Protection Boards and Inspectors of Stock a prominent place in the Post-War Reconstruction plan.