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Wednesday, 23 September 1936

Senator COOPER (Queensland) . - I congratulate the Government on the inclusion of the sum of £17,500 for the purchase of a vessel for the development of the fisheries industry. The provision of this vessel should greatly assist an industry which has been neglected for a long time. Notwithstanding that the waters off the Australian coast abound in fish, this country imports fish and fish products to the value of £1,500,000 a year. In my opinion, the men engaged in the fishing industry should be relieved of that portion of the petrol tax which is imposed for the development of roads in the Commonwealth. As most of the fish is transported over comparatively short distances it seems that the fishing industry derives little benefit from the petrol tax levied for the upkeep of main roads. I suggest that it would be possible to authorize retailers of petrol whose premises are situated on the waterfront to grant to approved fishermen a rebate of the tax on all petrol used in connexion with their operations.

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