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Tuesday, 27 April 1965

Senator ANDERSON (New South Wales) (Minister for Customs and Excise) . - I move-

That the Bill be now read a secondtime.

Mr. President,the Bill now before honorable senators proposes amendments of the schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1964. The Bill comprises three schedules with each schedule having a different date of commencement. For the assistance of honorable senators, 1 shall outline the subjects covered by the Bill as they appear in each schedule. The First Schedule deals with tariff changes arising out of recommendations of the Tariff Board on ginger, oil of ginger, oleoresin of ginger; dental chairs and units; and narrow woven fabrics and adjustable shoulder straps.

The new duties proposed for various forms of ginger will provide the Australian ginger growers with increased assistance against competition from imports. On ginger in syrup, for example, an increase from 9d. per lb. to ls. 9d. per lb. less 50 per cent, ad valorem is proposed. Dental chairs and dental units become free of duty under the British preferential tariff and subject to 7* per cent, most-favoured-nation rate following the acceptance by the Government of the Tariff Board's recommendation that the protective duties should be removed. On narrow woven fabrics of cotton, increased duties of 324- per cent, ad valorem plus 2d. per dozen yards British preferential tariff and 50 per cent, ad valorem plus 2d. per dozen yards mostfavourednation are proposed. However, the duties on narrow fabrics of man-made fibres remain unchanged. Higher duties, based on a most-favoured-nation ra:e of 2d. per pair, are also proposed for adjustable shoulder straps of the type used for female underclothing. On hook and eye tape and on narrow fabrics of jute and hemp, however, the existing protective duties are being removed in accordance with the Tariff Board's recommendations.

The Second Schedule provides for amendments based in the main on the Tariff Board's recommendations in its reports on emery stones, oilstones and whetstones; processed continuous filament man-made fibre yarns; and butadiene and styrene butadiene synthetic rubber. On emery stones, oilstones and whetstones, other than those of the type used directly in the hand, it is proposed to replace the present combined ordinary and primage duties with new protective duties of 10 per cent. British preferential tariff and 22i per cent, most favoured-nation. In practice, the only change in incidence will be an increase of 5 per cent, ad valorem in the British preferential rate. On the recommendation of the Tariff Board, the present temporary duties are being removed from processed nylon and terylene yarns. These are yarns which have been subjected to special twisting, plying or texturising processes such as in the case of stretch nylon yarns. In the opinion of the Tariff Board, the Australian industry has recovered from the difficulties recently experienced and is at present able to cope with import competition without protective duties.

The Tariff Board report on synthetic rubber concerns products made by local manufacturers forming part of the Altona petrochemical complex. Butadiene is a chemical made from petroleum and is the principal raw material used to make styrene - butadiene synthetic rubber. This synthetic rubber, which is the only type produced in Australia, is also known as polybutadiene - styrene and is described under this name in the tariff schedule. No change is being made to the non-protective duties on butadiene but increased duties of 6d. per lb. are provided on forms and types of synthetic rubber which compete directly with Australian production of polybutadiene - styrene. This Schedule also incorporates a change which is not associated with a Tariff Board report. It relates to calcium carbide and follows the completion of international negotiations. Its purpose is to ensure the maintenance of an agreed margin of preference in favour of Canada and does not affect the current protective rates of duty.

The Third Schedule provides changes in duties based on the Tariff Board's report on shotguns and parts, and incorporates some other minor changes to the customs tariff following the completion of a round of international negotiations. The Australian production of 12-gauge shotguns is to receive increased assistance by the introduction of duties of 15 per cent, ad valorem British preferential tariff and 25 per cent, most-favoured-nation for guns having a value of £32 or less. Above that value, the British preferential rate is gradually reduced to free and the most-favoured-nation rate becomes £8 each or 74 per cent, ad valorem, whichever is the higher.

Following the completion of the international negotiations, the mostfavourednation rate of duty on light-weight woollen piece goods is raised to 45 per cent. ad valorem to conform to the level of protection recommended by the Tariff Board in its last report on this industry. A reduction of 5 per cent. in the most-favoured-nation duties on motor scooters and non-electric typewriters was also made as a result of these negotiations. I commend the Bill to honorable senators.

Debate (on motion by Senator O'Byrne) adjourned.

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