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Thursday, 11 March 2010
Page: 2219

Mr BRENDAN O’CONNOR (Minister for Home Affairs) (9:16 AM) —I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Customs Tariff Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2010 contains three amendments to the Customs Tariff Act 1995.

Two of these amendments relate to import concessions for the textile, clothing and footwear industry. The amendments will insert end-dates for items 61 and 73 in schedule 4 of the Customs Tariff. These amendments reflect the government’s change of policy from providing assistance through tariff concessions to providing a wider range of support to TCF industries as set out in the government’s TCF innovation package as announced in the 2009-10 budget.

The government’s TCF innovation package will drive innovation and renewal in the Australian TCF industries by investing $401 million in a retargeted TCF package from 2009-10 to 2015-16. The new TCF innovation package redirects $55 million towards innovation, including $10 million in new funding. The package recognises the importance of the TCF industries, which employ over 45,000 Australians and underpin regional economies around the country. It aims to make the TCF sector stronger and more sustainable by supporting the development of new products and processes, especially at the high-tech, high-value end of the market.

The bill amends item 61 to insert an end-date of 30 June 2010. Item 61 provides the means for duty concessions under the Expanded Overseas Assembly Provisions Scheme.

This scheme provides duty concessions for certain TCF goods that are manufactured overseas from Australian fabric and are subsequently imported back to Australia.

The bill amends the end-date of item 73, changing the existing end-date from 30 June 2017 to 30 June 2011. Item 73 gives effect to the Product Diversification Scheme for certain clothing and finished textiles.

This scheme allows a producer to earn duty credits for certain clothing and finished textiles and then to apply those credits, through item 73, to offset duty payable on qualifying imported finished products.

While importers will no longer be able to earn duty credits under the PDS after 30 June this year, the end-date of 30 June 2011 for item 73 will provide importers with an additional 12 months to use those credits.

The bill also inserts an end-date of 31 December 2009 for item 53C in schedule 4 of the customs tariff. Item 53C provided a mechanism to reduce the general rate of customs duty from 10 per cent to five per cent for certain goods that were not of a kind used as components in passenger motor vehicles.

From 1 January 2010, the general rate of duty for the above goods reduced from 10 per cent to five per cent. As a consequence, there is no need for the item 53C concession and the item is redundant. I commend the bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Coulton) adjourned.

The SPEAKER —Order! The debate is adjourned and the resumption of the debate will be made an order of the day for the next sitting