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Short-term reference on the fertiliser industry



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T & ? DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE Tells?· INCLUDING THE AUSTRALIAN CUSTOMS SERVICE

IMMEDIATE RELEASE 4 October 1984 81/80

SHORT-TERM REFERENCE ON THE FERTILISER INDUSTRY

The Minister for Industry and Commerce, Senator John Button, announced today that the Government had asked the Industries Assistance Commission to report on the short-term assistance needs of the Australian phosphatic fertiliser manufacturing industry.

Senator Button noted that in July he had referred the fertiliser industry to the IAC for an inquiry into the longer term development of the industry in Australia.

"I drew attention at that time to the difficulties being experienced by the local fertiliser industry.

"Monitoring since that time shows there is now potential for the situation to deteriorate resulting in further employment losses in the industry before the: Government can act or the Commission's final report.

"The Commission already is required to submit an interim report, by 8 March 1985, on whether the existing fertiliser subsidy arrangements for consumers should be continued pending Government consideration of the main report.

"I have written to the Commission requesting it to report on the need for short-term assistance for the local production of phosphatic fertil isers^ including ammonium phosphates, as part of its interim report."

A copy of Senator Button's letter is attached.

CANBERRA ACT FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Mr R.B. Gould (062) 72 3673

MINISTER FOR INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE *’££'■ DADI IAUCMT u n i ICC

PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA, A.C.T. 2 6 0 0

- 2 OCT 1534

Dear Mr Codd .

On 20 July 1984, I sent a reference to the Industries Assistance Commission seeking a report on long term issues relating to the production and consumption of fertilisers in Australia.

Since sending that reference, I have been advised by the local manufacturers of phosphatic fertilisers that the - short term outlook for this industry i s ‘worsening. In particular, there is the possibility that job losses within the industry may occur prior to any action arising

from Government consideration of the Commission’s report.

Having examined this matter, I consider that the short term assistance needs of local phosphatic fertiliser manufacturers should be considered prior to the Commission's final report on long term issues. .

The Commission is already required to provide an interim report, by 8 March 1985» on the need to extend existing fertiliser subsidy arrangements.

In these circumstances, I request the Commission also to include in that interim report advice as to whether short term assistance should be accorded the production in Australia of phosphatic fertilisers and, if so, the nature and extent of such assistance.

Yours sincerely

(John N. Button)

Mr M. Codd Chairman '

Industries Assistance Commission PO Box 80 BELCOMEH ACT 2616