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Wednesday, 15 May 1957


Mr ALLAN FRASER (EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES) r asked the Treasurer, upon notice -

1.   Will he, when preparing the budget, propose abolition of the 124 per cent sales tax still applying to cakes, &c.,producedbypastrycooks?

2.   Will he take into account that this tax on food particularly hits families where the mother has to go out to work, invalids, old people and others who cannot cook these articles for themselves?

3.   Will he further examine the injury to the business of pastrycooks, some of whom have been forced to close and others to reduce staff?


Sir Arthur Fadden - The question "whether sales tax may or may not be removed from cakes and pastry is a matter of policy for the consideration of the Government, upon which I am unable at present to make any statement, other than to say that the matter will be considered, together with very many other requests for taxation concessions, in preparing the next budget.

Radio-active Isotopes.


Mr L R JOHNSON (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) son asked the Minister for Trade, upon notice -

1.   What is the value of radio-active isotopes Imported into Australia?

2.   From which countries were isotopes imported?

3.   To which commercial or industrial concern, or Government instrumentality, were consignments directed?


Mr McEwen - The answer to the honorable member's questions is as follows: - 1 to 3. I am unable to provide this information because radio-active isotopes do not appear as a separate item in the Customs Tariff and are not recorded separately in statistical returns of imports arriving in Australia.

Importation of Deep-frozen Fish.

1.   Is it a fact that although, during the past eighteen months, many deep-freeze cabinets have been installed in retail shops, no quota exists under which fish for the deep freeze can be imported?

2.   Will he take steps to see that a special quota for such imports be provided from the increased overseas funds at present being allocated to importers?

3.   Is it a fact that, unless this provision is made, losses will be incurred by many retailers and the development of a very valuable service to the public will be hindered?


Mr McEwen n. - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   No. 2 and 3. Importers holding quotas under item 51 (b) are permitted to import fresh, dried, smoked (but not salted) and frozen fish under those quotas in the proportion which will in their opinion best satisfy consumer demand. At the present time quotas established for this item provide for an annual importation exceeding £1,300,000. On 1st April, in common with many other items, quotas under item 51 (b) were increased by 20 per cent.

Canberra Office-cleaning Contracts.


Mr Cairns asked the Minister for the Interior, upon notice -

1.   Has his attention been drawn to the interest of business firms in Melbourne and Sydney in contracts for the cleaning of Commonwealth offices in Canberra?

2.   If so, will he see that, when tenders are called to renew any of the seven current cleaning contracts, they are invited in the same newspapers in which they were invited in May, 1954, and not only in the " Canberra Times ", the "Queanbeyan Age" and the "Queanbeyan News ", as occurred for subsequent contracts?


Mr Fairhall (PATERSON, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Interior) l. - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   So far as I am aware only one Melbourne firm has indicated any interest in contracting for cleaning of Commonwealth offices in Canberra.

2.   As a result of experience it has been considered desirable to let cleaning contracts for indefinite periods. The Commonwealth has the right to terminate a contract at any time for various reasons, e.g., unsatisfactory performance. Consequently, the current contracts will not come up for renewal at any particular time. If any further contracts are to be let for new work or in replacement of any of the current contracts, consideration will be given to inviting tenders through newspapers in Sydney and Melbourne.







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