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Thursday, 18 October 1984
Page: 2020


Senator WATSON(9.18) —I do not think the Opposition refutes the Government's claim that the additional inspection costs represent less than, say , one per cent of the value of an average beast slaughtered. While that comparison in itself might be insignificant, the Government has failed to acknowledge that the imposition of this slaughter charge decreases by up to 90 per cent the average profit margin of that transaction. When the slaughter levies are so significant-up to 90 per cent of the profit margin-that is when the levy becomes significant. That is what we are arguing about. We are not talking about the relationship of the one per cent to the total value of the beast slaughtered; it is the relationship of this impost to the profit margin of up to 90 per cent. Without that profit margin we get no investment, no employment and the industry is decimated. That is the matter about which we are trying to convince Senator Grimes.