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Tuesday, 14 May 1985
Page: 1914

Senator BUTTON (Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce)(6.23) —We will not be supporting the requested amendments either.

Senator Macklin —Surprise, surprise.

Senator BUTTON —It comes as no surprise to Senator Macklin. I want to have another go at answering the question which the honourable senator put to me before. As I understand it, equalisation provides, at a maximum, for equalised returns of 15 per cent above average export returns. It does not set a ceiling on domestic prices which can be commanded by market forces. When world prices are very low, natural protection over the $200 specific duty rate may provide a market climate where domestic prices can be set higher. That, I understand, is the position which is adopted in relation to the honourable senator's comments. I have nothing further to say about the requested amendments.