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Govt told: drop the wine tax today



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and National Dev el opment

EMBARGO... JAM, 20 SEPTEMBER, 1993.

GOVT WARNED ON OBSTACLES TO REGIONAL GROWTH

The Industry Commission's report on Impediments to Regional Industry Adjustment contains a clear warning that Australia's national development will continue to lag until regional industry gets cracking.

The Shadow Minister for National Development Ian McLachlan said the Commission's draft report has identified a number of obstacles standing in the way of industry growth in regional Australia.

'A key finding is that Australia's centralised industrial relations system remains a significant barrier to growth and that the influences on individual labour costs remain 'constrained by a myriad of centrally determined awards, most of which are oblivious to the special conditions and needs of workplace in different regions across Australia.'

'The Commission found that these restrictions contribute to wide regional disparaties in unemployment.

'It is an irony that this criticism of our continuing industrial straitjacket comes only days after the revelation that the Government is planning to strengthen union muscle through the proposal to remove the secondary boycott clauses in -the Trade. Practices Act.

'Government taxes on fuel also significantly hobble regional growth.

'Other Commission work shows that the recent Budget increase in fuel tax will reduce overall economic growth by .3% reduce exports by 1.4% and increase unemployment by .4%

'Among the industries predicted by the Commission to be most seriously affected are agriculture and chemicals, both contracting by .6%, mining exports down .9% and food exports and basic metals products down by 1.6%

'Many of these industries are significant employers in regional Australia and are just one more indication of the increased tax burden imposed by the Government.

'Industry will only begin to grow and employ when investment occurs, and this report indicates that there are still significant obstacles to growth.'

Further information: Ian McLachlan, Shadow Minister for National Development, Telephone: 08 2712546. -

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19 September, 1998. C0KV-/,ONWEALTH.

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