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Wednesday, 28 November 1973
Page: 2250


Senator WRIGHT (Tasmania) - I wish to express my obligation to the Minister for Primary Industry for his reference to the Crawford report as the origin of the words which particularise the matters to which the Commission is to have regard. I only wish to make my own comment that it is strange that there is an entire omission to direct that this Commission shall consider the need for financial assistance for the applicant industry for the purpose of its economic and efficient maintenance in the totality of the Australian economy. I have no doubt that this has been considered by the draftsman of the Bill but the generality of clause 22 has political objectives and the criteria to which the Commission will have regard for the purpose of assistance of industry leaves me mystified. But I content myself with that comment.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 23. 23.(1) The Minister may refer to the Commission for inquiry and report any matter relating to the giving, continuance or withdrawal of assistance to an industry by the Australian Government, and may, when so referring a matter, specify a period within which the Commission is to report on that matter.

(2)   Where a matter is so referred, the Commission shall inquire into, and report to the Minister on, that matter, but may give consideration to the necessity for any form of assistance in respect of the industry concerned and report accordingly.

(3)   The Minister shall not take any action in respect of any of the matters specified in sub-section (4), being action that is related to the provision of assistance to a particular primary or secondary industry but not being action that is necessary in order to implement the policy of the Australian Government-

(b)   in relation to tariff preference for developing countries, unless he has received a report of the Commission in relation to that matter under this Act or, if the Minister referred that matter to the Commission for inquiry and report and, when so referring that matter, specified a period within which the Commission was to report on that matter, thirty days have elapsed since the expiration of that period, but nothing in this sub-section prevents action being taken to provide assistance to an industry in accordance with, or for the purposes of, a law of Australia that was passed or made before the commencement of this Act.

(4)   The matters referred to in sub-section (3) are-

(f)   whether financial assistance for a period exeeding twelve months should be provided to an industry by the Australian Government;

(g)   where financial assistance (not being financial assistance provided after inquiry and report by the Commission or the Tariff Board ) has been provided to an industry by the Australian Government for a period not exceeding, or for periods not exceeding in the aggregate, twelve months- whether financial assistance should be provided to that industry by the Australian Government for a further period so that the total period for which financial assistance will be provided will exceed twelve months; or

(h)   whether financial assistance that has been provided to an industry by the Australian Government for a period exceeding twelve months should be suspended or withdrawn or the rate of that financial assistance should be increased or reduced.

(5)   For the purposes of paragraph (4) (g), any period for which financial assistance has been provided to an industry and which occurred not less than six years before the commencement of the further period referred to in that paragraph or occurred before the commencement of this Act shall be disregarded.







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