Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 24 February 1977

Mr MALCOLM FRASER - I think the honourable member ought to be congratulated for reminding people of the Government's attitude to these matters and for reminding people that the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs did bring to the notice of the Industries Assistance Commission the Government's policy in relation to these matters. That stands in the policy on industry and it is clear for anyone to see. We have also of course instructed the IAC to report to us in relation to any recommendations that will result in reduced employment- something which I think the previous Administration did not bother to do because if changes in protection are going to result in reduced employment it is a good idea either for the IAC or for the Government to have some view about where displaced people will find alternative employment. As a result of the decisions that were taken during the 3 years of Labor administration alternative employment opportunities are much fewer in this country than they otherwise would have been.

The matter that the honourable member referred to in my speech on 1 June on the world situation related to the very real circumstance in which a number of industrial countries which are close to major world markets much much larger than Australia's have been promoting over the years lower and lower tariffs on manufactured goods but at the same time have been establishing almost impenetrable barriers for the goods of developing countries and for primary products. There is obviously a great divergence of view in the developed countries because of the way in which they treat manufactured goods and the way in which they treat other commodities. The attitude that I expressed then in relation to trade with the developing nations has been taken further in discussions in Jakarta and it finds reflection in the establishment of economic consultations between Indonesia, ASEAN countries and Australia- consultations which I understand were suggested by the previous Administration in 1974 but which were not taken up until my visit to Jakarta last year. In addition to that the Minister for Foreign Affairs had further discussions on these matters when he was in Singapore and pointed to the need to establish the circumstance in which there can be greater trade for example between ASEAN countries and Australia. He also made the point that economic recovery needs to move further and employment opportunities need to improve more in this country before substantial moves can be made in that direction.

Suggest corrections