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Friday, 3 December 1976
Page: 3225

Mr HYDE (MOORE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - My question, addressed to the Minister for Primary Industry, is supplementary to the question asked by the honourable member for Macarthur. Does the devaluation increase the Australian price of imported products that receive protection? Does the combined effect of the tariff and the devaluation increase by about 80 per cent the effective protection to those industries which compete with goods that are coming in? Does this increase in costs affect farmers and other exporters?

Mr SINCLAIR -Of course it is true that to the degree to which there are imports the costs of farmers will be increased but the figures I referred to before related to the net benefits to farmers. Already the Bureau of Agricultural Economics has made a judgment on the assessed additional costs. Any assessment must prejudge things. It must involve using a crystal ball and it need not necessarily be accurate. However, the BAE has set a very high standard in its forward projections. I believe the benefits I have spoken of illustrate the return that the rural sector can expect in spite of additional costs that might occur in some sectors of the economy.

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