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Tuesday, 10 November 1959

Mr HOLTEN (Indi) .- Mr. Speaker,I wish to make a few comments on this bill. I think that the rayon yarn bounty is a good thing for Australian industry, because it promotes employment and helps to maintain a stable price for continuous filament acetate rayon yarn, which is a most important raw material for several great industries that are established in country areas in Australia. I am certain that everybody in Australia will support any move that will continue in production an industry established in a rural area. It has become most important to our nation to develop our rural areas. Certainly, due consideration must be given to the use of facilities that are available in city areas, but a correct national outlook requires that industries be established in country areas, and this bounty, which the Government pro poses to continue, will help industries already established in rural areas.

I have listened with great interest to the remarks of the honorable member for Lalor (Mr. Pollard) and the honorable member for St. George (Mr. Clay). The honorable member for Lalor made a very interesting and knowledgeable speech, but I feel that he was not quite correct when he singled out the Australian Country Party as being opposed to the payment of bounties. I cannot speak with the honorable member's long experience in this House, Mr. Speaker, but I can speak of the attitude of the Australian Country Party. The attitude of members of the Australian Country Party is that we must adopt a balanced approach to the payment of bounties to various industries. We adopt a balanced approach to the payment of this bounty, just as we do to the payment of a bounty to consumers in respect of the dairying industry and the payment of a bounty on superphosphate to primary producers. I can assure the honorable member for Lalor that the Australian Country Party stands for the balanced development of Australia. It is truly national in its thinking, and not in any way sectional. If, in the past, the thinking of the Australian Country Party was along the lines indicated by the honorable member, it is good to think that members of the party are sufficiently elastic in their thinking to change their minds when they see the benefit to the country of support for secondary industries in Australia.

It is very good to see the concern of this Liberal Party-Australian Country Party Government for secondary industries, but we must still recognize the importance of the primary industries to the country's economy. We must be certain that we do not lose sight of the importance of the primary producers to our national economy, and we must be careful not to encourage any industry to the detriment of the primaryproducing industries. This has been indicated by the executives of the rayon mills in dealing with this matter, Mr. Speaker. They have said, particularly in the last few months that, in helping the rayon industry, we must not do anything that will adversely affect our export trade, particularly in primary products. As this bounty has been paid for the last five years, I am certain that the primary producers can rest assured that they will suffer no ill effects from it.

I should like to indicate briefly how this bounty assists the rayon-weaving industry. As I have mentioned, it is most important for all of us that we assist this industry, because all our rayon mills, I think, are in rural areas, and are playing a very important part in the development of the country. They have brought housing and business activity to country districts and have provided opportunities for young men from the country to advance their knowledge and their status in life. The honorable member for St. George got in ahead of me in pointing out the employment benefits of these establishments in rural areas. I was very pleased to hear him deal with it. The establishment of rayon mills by Courtaulds (Australia) Limited, near Newcastle, and by Bruck Mills (Australia) Limited, at Wangaratta, has afforded country lads the opportunity to undertake employment in these organizations at an early age and, by their ability and their initiative, to master the techniques of the difficult processes involved in rayon weaving. In my own town of Wangaratta young people have risen to great heights in the great organization, Bruck Mills (Australia) Limited. From memory, I think at least four of them have been sent overseas as representatives of the company. Such industrial development cannot fail to benefit the young people of Australia.

I notice that quality and efficiency are taken into account. A point that impresses me is that the rayon weavers of this country realize that they must be efficient and produce goods of high quality in order to be entitled to sympathetic consideration from this Government. Bearing in mind all the factors, I am certain that this bill will contribute to the sound development of Australia. It is important not to do anything to harm the export earning capacity of our industries. With those few remarks, I support the bill.

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