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Monday, 24 May 1965

Senator LAUGHT (South Australia) . - I also support this Bill, which seeks to extend for six months the bounties at present being paid on sulphuric acid and pyrites, pending completion of the Tariff Board inquiry and the Government's consideration of the Tariff Board's report on that inquiry. I wish to stress to the chamber and to the Government the importance of this matter to South Australia. Ten or more years ago, at the behest of this Government, the mining of pyrites was commenced and carried on in that State. The various companies which were then making superphosphate re-arranged their plants to obtain sulphuric acid from pyrites and set aside a good deal of capital for that specific purpose. Now, with the free movement of sulphur and brimstone, the money that they invested in the mining and treatment of the pyrites could well he lost.

I have no doubt that the Tariff Board is making a full inquiry into the matter. I hope that it will come to a conclusion which will enable the Government to continue the bounty. Let us be thankful for small mercies at this stage. A decision has been delayed for six months pending the completion of the report by the Tariff Board. I commend the Government for the step it has taken. I trust that the final report will be available in the near future and that the Government's decision will soon be known to the industry. If the Government favours the continuation of the bounty, the industry will be able to go ahead for at least five or seven years with the production of this most important commodity.

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