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Monday, 24 May 1965

Senator ANDERSON (New South Wales) (Minister for Customs and Excise) (12:16 PM) . - I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

It is proposed to extend the operation of the present Sulphuric Acid Bounty Act 1954-60, under which bounty will cease to be payable after 30th June 1965, for a further maximum period of six months to 31st December 1965 unless an earlier date of cessation is specified by proclamation. The Pyrites Bounty Act 1960 is also due to expire on 30th June 1965 and I shall shortly introduce a similar measure to extend that Act for a further maximum period of six months. However, as honorable senators are aware, the two industries are very closely allied. Bounty is paid on iron pyrites received into a sulphuric acid manufacturer's premises for the purpose of being used in that manufacture and is also paid on the sulphuric acid produced from the iron pyrites. In addition sulphuric acid bounty is paid on the acid produced from lead sinter gas. Because of this close alliance, I shall deal with the reason for the extension of both Acts in this speech.

Both industries are at present being reviewed by the Tariff Board which is examining the general questions of what assistance should be extended to the producers of sulphuric acid and iron pyrites in Australia. However, in view of the complexities of some of the considerations, it appears unlikely that the Board's report will be received in time for the Government to study it and take appropriate action before the date of the expiry of both Acts on 30th June 1965. This Bill, therefore, extends the current sulphuric acid bounty legislation for a further period of six months to 3 1st December 1965, or an earlier proclaimed date, to allow sufficient time for the Board to present its report and the Government to consider and act upon it. The extension also allows the present level of assistance to the industry to be maintained meanwhile. 1 commend the Bill to honorable senators.

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

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