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Wednesday, 16 March 1966


Mr HOWSON (Fawkner) (Minister for Air) . - I move -

Customs Tariff Proposals (No. 3) (1966).

Mr. Speaker,Customs Tariff Proposals No. 3, which I have just tabled, relate to proposed amendments of the Customs Tariff 1966. The amendments will operate from tomorrow morning. Amendments contained in Proposals No. 3 give effect to the Government's decisions following receipt of the Tariff Board's reports on -

Peanuts, peanut .oil and olive oil; and Glass grains (ballotini).

In the first-mentioned report, the Board's recommendations on peanut oil, olive oil and other edible oils are of an interim nature. Following an earlier report on safflower oil the Government had accepted a suggestion by the Board that the long-term protection on these oils should be determined after a general review of the vegetable oil industry. It had been intended that this review would have commenced next year. In the present report the Board has again referred to the need for a full review of the vegetable oil industry. It has recommended that, in the meantime, peanut oil production be assisted by a bounty and by new protective duties on rapeseed and mixed oils. A variation in the bylaw arrangement which at present protects the local production of olive oil has also been recommended.

After considering the Board's conclusion that the question of long term assistance for local peanut oil, as well as for local cottonseed and safflower oils, could be determined only after a general review covering all vegetable oils, the Government has decided that the general review should be held now instead of next year. In these changed circumstances, the Government has decided to continue the present form of assistance to the local production of peanut oil until the Board has again reported on the industry. Accordingly, the present duties are being maintained and bylaw concessions on imported peanut oil will continue for purchasers of local peanuts for peanut oil production during the interim period. A ratio of four gallons under bylaw to each gallon produced from local peanuts will continue to apply in respect of the drought affected crop harvested in 1965 and a ratio of three to one will apply to any subsequent normal crop. The Board's recommendations on rapeseed oil and on mixed vegetable oils have been accepted. New rates of S0.40 per gallon general and $0,267 per gallon preferential are being applied. These new duties are in line with those on other vegetable oils for which rapeseed and mixed oils are substitutes. The Government has also accepted the Board's recommendation on olive oil. Pending the proposed review, purchasers of local olive oil will be permitted to import one gallon of imported olive oil for each gallon purchased from local producers. There will be no change in the duties.

For glass grains, also known as ballotini, which are used mainly in reflective signs and which are now being successfully produced in Australia, the Proposals provide protective ad valorem duties of 35 per cent. General Rate and 25 per cent.

Preferential Rate. The balance ot the amendments in Proposals No. 3 are necessary to improve the translation from the Customs Tariff 1933-1965 to the new Tariff based on the Brussels Nomenclature which operated from 1st July 1965. These changes ensure a continuation of the duty position existing prior to 1st July 1965 and are in accordance with the undertaking given when the new Tariff was introduced last May. Details of the Tariff changes are contained in the summaries of Tariff changes being circulated to honorable members. I commend the proposals to honorable members.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Pollard) adjourned.







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