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Thursday, 2 December 1976

Mr MacPHEE (BALACLAVA, VICTORIA) (Minister for Productivity) - In recent days there have been many comments about the adverse impact of an across-the-board measure like devaluation. I am very glad that the honourable member has sought to examine some of the positive aspects of this because we are, as we know, renowned as a nation of knockers. Let us look at the positive aspects of devaluation. First of all, for one thing it will arrest some of those board room decisions which were being made to take industry offshore. It will thereby retain jobs in industry. It will also discourage the further outflow of capital which is needed for investment in industry and thereby encourage the creation of jobs in industry. Furthermore, it will enable Australian manufacturers to compete with imports, thereby retaining and in the course of time extending jobs in industry. It will enable Australian manufacturers to export more of their goods, thereby enabling them to invest or expand their plant and employ more people. Unquestionably this measure will be of short and medium term benefit of a considerable extent and in the long term it will greatly improve productivity of industry. It is about time -

Mr Innes - Even you do not believe that.

Mr MacPHEE - The honourable member for Melbourne is interjecting, joining the team of knockers in this country. Any across-the-board measure of course will discomfort some people.

Mr Bryant - Why did you not do it earlier?

Mr MacPHEE - The honourable member for Wills asks why it was not done earlier. The point is that it is an across-the-board measure.

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