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Friday, 28 November 1986
Page: 3017

Senator WATSON —My question is directed to the Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce. Predictably, it concerns the textile, clothing and footwear industries. In the light of the Minister's announcement this morning on post-1988 assistance arrangements for the textile, clothing and footwear industries, will the Minister assure the Senate that the production contraction safeguards of 15 per cent for the industries overall and 10 per cent, 20 per cent and 20 per cent respectively for the textile, clothing and footwear sectors are central elements of the plan? Furthermore, recognising the extremely high proportion of textile, clothing and footwear imports coming from developing country sources, does the Minister acknowledge that the 60 per cent tariff end point for clothing will be 55 per cent and the comparable developing country end point for footwear will be 45 per cent? In view of this can the Minister give an assurance that the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Development Authority will closely monitor developments and anticipate any need for policy revisions designed to ensure that the maximum production contraction provisions of the plan are not exceeded? Will the Minister confirm that the Authority is to report annually on the operation of the plan? Finally, will the Minister ensure that the Authority is provided with adequate resources to meet its vitally important role and will be composed of appropriately qualified and experienced persons?

Senator BUTTON —Five questions were addressed to me by Senator Watson. The answer to each of the questions is yes.