Closer Economic Relations (CER) with New Zealand
You will recall that in your letter of 9th February 1 you asked that the question of the place of dairying within CER should be taken up at industry level. On the 17th February I reported to you on the outcome of the first round of discussions on this subject held with New Zealand representatives at the meeting of the Joint Industry Consultative Committee (JICC) on 15th February.
A further meeting of JICC specifically to discuss CER took place in Wellington on 31st March and 1st April and I am pleased to advise that agreement has been reached on all the basic issues. Currently our officials are preparing a final form of words for formal endorsement by both the Australian and New Zealand sides. When this is available, it will be forwarded to you in the form of an official submission to Government for ratification as part of the overall CER agreement. I am enclosing, for your confidential use at this stage, a copy of the draft document submitted today to our New Zealand colleagues. I understand you have already received a telex copy of this document from Mr. Miller of the Department of Primary Industry.
For your information I am also enclosing a copy of a joint media release made at the conclusion of this week's meeting.
[NAA: A1313/113, 8212479, iv]