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IAC changes result of Keating ineptitude



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; MEDIA RELEASE THE SENATE- COM M ONW EALTH

PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY M1CAH

MEDIA RELEASE FROM SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDUSTRY, TECHNOLOGY, & COMMERCE SENATOR AUSTIN LEWIS

MAY 28 1989

IAC Changes Result of Keating Ineptitude

Proposals to change the Industries Assistance Commission (control of which the Treasurer, Mr Keating, wrested from Senator Button after the 1987 election), are cosmetic surgery according to Victorian Liberal Senator, Austin Lewis.

Commenting on reports of the proposals, which include changing the IAC's name and its inguiry procedures, Senator Lewis, the Opposition's Shadow Minister for Industry, Technology, & Commerce, said: "While the economy is bleeding

from the jugular the Treasurer is considering irrelevancies. If the IAC is not working properly that is his fault - he has ministerial responsibility for it.

"The proposals are nothing more than a re-run of his Australia Day announcement of 1988."

In that announcement Mr Keating said, '...the Government will assist the IAC to use its resources efficiently, as well as demonstrating how the Government sees the Commission . contributing to the process of structural adjustment now under way in the Australian economy...'

Senator Lewis said, "Here we are sixteen months down the track and the Treasurer has another proposal to make the IAC work. But where is the structural reform?

"Instead of altering the IAC the Government should be implementing some of the recommendations for micro-economic reform which it has been given by the IAC and bodies such as the Inter-State Commission and the BRRU."

In July last year, Senator Lewis said the Treasurer had been wasting the Commission's professional resources by waiting five months to provide the IAC with the Terms of Reference for a series of inquiries foreshadowed in his Australia Day

announcement.

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"Clearly, the Treasurer is admitting that he has been wasting the IAC's resources if he now feels it necessary, after almost sixteen months, to reshape it despite his earlier announcement.

"The IAC is ideally placed to identify anti-competitive burdens on industry and areas crying out for micro-economic reform but, perhaps the Treasurer doesn't want to hear the message," Senator Lewis said.

"As a result of Government rhetoric on micro-economic reforms the IAC had been left twiddling its thumbs and is now about to be punished by its master.

"Rather than talking about taking action, and instituting enquiries about taking action, the Government should actually be trying to achieve meaningful micro-economic reforms; something which they clearly have not had the courage or will

to achieve."

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