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Thursday, 9 December 1976

Mr SPEAKER - No. The honourable gentleman will resume his seat.

Mr MALCOLM FRASER - I heard it very well. If I do the honourable gentleman an injustice I have no doubt that he will take advantage of the forms of the House to redress the matter. There was at least an implication in his question which seemed to show great solicitude for firms that were importing goods. Of course, the major objective of the Government is to support and reinforce productive Australian enterprises, Australian factories and Australian employment. I believe that the totality of the Government's actions in this regard will have a considerable impact.

I think one other point needs to be noted. In the Government's measures as a whole there is a not insignificant warning for Australian firms that go offshore and export jobs on the basis of what they might regard to be some short term economic expediency. One particular firm established operations somewhere in South East Asia- I do not think I should identify the firm- and then, some time ago when import quotas were placed on the products involved in the overseas production, the firm sought a special import quota so that its overseas operation could be adequately sustained. That gets to the length of absurdity which some people seem prepared to argue for a narrow and a sectional interest. This Government will not have a bar of it. We are concerned with Australian employment in Australian factories. I would only hope that other honourable gentlemen are also.

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