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Thursday, 8 April 1965

Senator PALTRIDGE - On 23rd

March 1965 Senator Wright asked a question without notice of the Minister representing the Minister for Shipping and Transport concerning applications for permits and freight rates for the carriage of petroleum products. The Minister for Shipping and Transport has furnished the following answer -

In considering applications for permits to allow unlicensed overseas vessels to ship petroleum products or other cargoes, my Department inquires whether a licensed vessel is available and whether the service it provides is adequate. If a licensed ship is not available, or if the service it provides is not adequate, it is then necessary to consider whether it is desirable in the public interest to grant a permit.

It is not my Department's function to inquire into the freight rates charged by the overseas vessel concerned, or by any licensed vessel that may be available. Contracts for the carriage of oil and other cargoes are normal business transactions between private enterprise companies, and the Department does not exercise supervision over prices charged.

From time to time the oil companies have given examples in complaints to the Department of what they claim to be excessive charges by R. W. Miller and Co., but they have in each case been advised that the Department can take no action in the matter.

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