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Monday, 24 September 2001
Page: 31231

Mr HATTON (1:16 PM) —I am happy to support the comments made by the chair and the deputy chair of the committee and to acknowledge the support of all the members of the committee over the life of this parliament for the work done on this report. Like the chair and the deputy chair, I think that this is an extremely important report to the parliament because it goes to the core of one of the central problems that Australia faces, and that is how to change the way in which we develop our products in Australia and sell them overseas at an increased value.

The core point of doing this report was to look at industries which were successful at adding value and at bringing more wealth back into Australia, and to attempt to identify a better way of going about things for other industries that have not been as successful. Part of the core strength of this report is in its initial design, which was to look at where the strengths and weaknesses were in current performance and to argue that we should go deeper and try to find a basic set of formulas for how industries and companies can do better at it.

I want to consider two key areas, the first of which is the magnesium industry. As the deputy chair highlighted, all the committee members thought that the magnesium industry is of enormous significance for the future. The government has taken correct steps to directly support the activities in Gladstone and to extend the work that the CSIRO has done. We look forward to that becoming a major industry. The second key area is wine. Having been successful with wine, we need to continue to support it through the years to come and to be flexible in our approach. I support the report.