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Wednesday, 2 November 1983
Page: 2177


Mr DUFFY (Minister for Communications and Acting Minister Assisting the Minister for Industry and Commerce)(11.25) —I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill is to continue bounty assistance during 1983-84 to the manufacturer in Australia of certain refrigerated room air conditioners. The Temporary Assistance Authority, in its report No. 62 of 7 June 1983 entitled ' Certain Room Air Conditioning Machines' recommended that bounty assistance continue during 1983-84 at the same rates and limits that applied in 1982-83. The Government has decided to continue bounty assistance on locally produced room air conditioners for a further 12 months to 30 June 1984. An additional $1, 500,000 is to be made available for bounty payments during this period. Bounty will be paid on room air conditioning machines of a portable or fixed window type designed primarily for use without ducting and having a nominally rated cooling capacity of 5.4 kilowatts or less. The rates of bounty are $60 for smaller units not exceeding 3.528 kilowatts cooling capacity and $90 for larger units.

The Email Ltd owned Kelvinator Australia Ltd plant in Adelaide has been subjected to severe import competition, and the extension of the bounty is designed to assist the company to secure sales of its locally produced air conditioners. However, given existing high levels of imported stocks, the bounty may do little to assist Email contain competition from new imports in 1983-84. Accordingly, the Government has also introduced import restraints for 1983-84 by a tariff quota limiting imports for that period to 55 per cent of the 1982-83 level. These combined temporary measures-bounty and tariff quota-are considered essential if the local industry is to regain economies of scale to ensure its future viability. Without them there would be a significant risk that local manufacture could cease and thus the bounty already accorded and production investment made by the company would have been wasted. The cost of the additional bounty is $1,500,000 in 1983-84 and there are no direct offset savings. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Connolly) adjourned.