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Tuesday, 25 November 1986
Page: 2716

Senator CHANEY (Leader of the Opposition)(9.20) —I move:

Page 17, clause 23, leave out sub-clause (8).

I do not need to speak at length on this matter. The amendment is in the same spirit as a previous amendment moved to other legislation tonight, which sought to remove from the Minister his power to control entry into an industry. The concern of the Opposition is that by controlling entry into an industry the Government in fact puts yet another clamp on the Australian economy in a way which will be counterproductive. In this case it is provided that the Comptroller-General of Customs shall not register premises:

if the Minister has informed the Comptroller that the registration of those premises will not permit the orderly development in Australia of the industry manufacturing subsidised equipment.

Our concern is that the history of governments and bureaucrats trying to direct the orderly development of industry is not one which gives us any confidence. In fact we believe that the best way to achieve the orderly development of the industry is to ensure that the levels of assistance provided are not such as to encourage people to enter this industry unless they believe that they can be competitive. We think that the pressure of competition should be the control on entry rather than some bureaucratic or ministerial direction. The matter has been debated on other legislation and I do not seek to debate it further now, but I urge the support of the Committee for the amendment which I have just moved.