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Wednesday, 28 April 1965

Senator O'BYRNE (Tasmania) . - In my second reading speech I intimated that the Opposition would, during the Committee stage, move an amendment to the Second Schedule to exclude item 460, which relates to processed continuous filament man made fibre yarns. The merit of the proposition I put forward to the Minister has now been more or less conceded by his announcement - this was unknown to me before this debate - that the matter had again been considered by the Special Advisory Authority who, in his wisdom and to his great credit, had, by means of a different formula, basically conceded the necessity for a measure ofcontinuing protection.

Senator Anderson - A holding protection.

Senator O'BYRNE - Yes, a holding protection. While the previous report of the Board made a special' recommendation for a 25 per cent, duty - the imposition that is removed by this legislation - we now have the assurance of the Minister that a 2s. 6d. per lb. holding duty has been imposed. Therefore, the reason for our proposed amendment no longer exists, because after all it is a matter of debate whether the industry requires a duty of 20 per cent, or 25 per cent, and 2s. 6d. per lb. is in that vicinity. Having consulted my colleagues I feel that the point which the Opposition was stressing - not knowing of this latest reference to the Special Advisory Authority - has been conceded, andI do not now want to move the proposed amendment. The Minister has announced that the 2s. 6d. per lb. protection has been imposed and will continue as a holding measure to see whether the industry does stabilise and whether in the time which has elapsed since the protection was lifted, any appreciable amount of yarn hits been shipped from England or other parts of the world to our market. This holding protection will give the industry and the Tariff Board an idea of whether the industry is stabilising itself. We, on this side of the chamber, do not want to mollycoddle any industry. The quicker an industry can get on to its own feet and not only compete on the local market but also reach such a stage of efficient production that it can become an exporter, the better. That is the position we want to encourage. I think that with stability, this industry will eventually become an exporter, and that is highly desirable.

The Minister said that this is the fourth change that has taken place in a period of three or four years. No industry likesto have the sword of insecurity hanging over its head, so that it cannot plan expansion or make forward marketing arrangements. I feel that all the objections that we advanced have now been met by the Minister's assurance and we therefore do not propose to proceed with our proposed amendment.

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