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Tuesday, 30 August 1994
Page: 574

Senator SPINDLER —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

  That the Senate—

  (a)condemns the failure of the Government to address the fundamental structural problems of the Australian economy, as evidenced by the entirely predictable blow-out in the current account deficit of $1.8 billion for July 1994;

  (b)dismisses as a sham the Government's claims of success in restructuring the economy, in particular, noting that the recently touted growth in manufacturing output masks a blow-out in the manufacturing deficit of $8 billion over the past 3 years, accompanied by the loss of some 150 000 jobs in the manufacturing sector since 1989;

  (c)notes, with alarm, that the rising trade deficit in manufactured goods represents an increasing, rather than the needed decreasing, reliance on primary production to correct our balance of payments problems;

  (d)observes that the Government's perennial failure to intervene on the basis of targeted industry strategies has gradually destroyed the competitiveness of Australia's labour-intensive manufacturing base, with consequent massive social and regional dislocation;

  (e)notes that one of the most telling examples of Government inaction is the inadequate support for the scientific research and high-technology industries which need to be growing faster still;

  (f)calls on the Government:

    (i)to impose import restrictions based on the production process, for example, minimum labour, safety and environmental standards, to protect Australian industry from unfair competition from abroad,

    (ii)to significantly increase funding for research and development, education and training,

    (iii)to establish a venture and development capital fund to support new manufacturing enterprises,

    (iv)to develop and implement, as a matter of priority, co-operative industry strategies for the information technology industry, the environment industry, and value-adding industries in food, wool and minerals processing as part of a new industry policy based on the responsibility of Government to complement industry efforts in a deliberate and strategic manner.