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Thursday, 20 November 1941


Senator E B JOHNSTON (Western Australia) . - I have no wish to embarrass the Government in its proposals for raising revenue with which to finance the war; but as so little is involved in the acceptance of the amendment nroposed by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator MeLeay) I intend to support it. In response to representations made in the House of Representatives, the Treasurer (Mr. Chifley) has already met one-half of the objections that we have raised against the proposed penalizing of the fishing industry by allowing sub-items 4 and 5, covering nets, netting, cotton hemp, twine and other materials used for repairs, lines, hooks, floaters and sinkers for lue in the fishing industry, to remain in the 5 per cent, schedule. These sub-items are similar to the first three. It was always the policy of the right honorable member for Cowper (Sir Earle Page), as Leader of the Country party, to endeavour to assist the establishment of industries large or small, particularly the primary industries of Australia. Whilst he invariably sought to impose duties on imports from the Mother Country, he always fought consistently for the admission of machinery and equipment for the establishment of Australian factories free of duty or at the lowest possible rate. The fishing industry is an important Australian primary industry. Apart from pearling the fishing industry is the only industry carried on in northern coastal waters, where fish arc abundant. From Sharks Bay in Western Australia, far remote from the large centres of population, whiting are sent to the Melbourne market in cold storage. Although the Government is anxious to help this industry, the amount of revenue involved in the acceptance of the amendment proposed by the Leader of the Opposition is so small that I trust his appeal will not pass unheeded.







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