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Wednesday, 3 May 1961

Mr HASLUCK - Mr. Speaker,the plywood industry of Papua and New Guinea is of considerable importance to the Territory, both as a major item in the export trade and because it provides employment for a large number of people. In addition, of course, it is establishing, in the long term, a branch of trade which will be of economic importance to the Territory. I should mention that at present a certain specified quantity of plywood from Papua and New Guinea is admitted to Australia duty free. The fixing of that quantity was the result of a Tariff Board inquiry at which the competition between New Guinea plywood and Australian plywood was carefully examined and the representations of the Australian plywood industry were heard.

I think it would be a fair summary to say that the particular type of moistureresistant plywood which is being imported into Australia from Papua and New Guinea is not directly competitive with any similar type of plywood produced in Australia. It fills a need which is not precisely met by Australian production. Of course, one would concede that the preference of persons for one sort of plywood might diminish their use of another sort, but subject only to that, the competition from New Guinea imports is not one that impinges directly on Australian production.

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