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The Ferris Report

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F R O M S E N A T O R P E T E R R A E , S H A D O W M I N I S T E R F O R F I N A N C E ,

D A T E : 25 J a n u a r y 1 9 8 5 No

"The Ferris Report on Australia's export strategy is a most comprehensive study and is relevant to the whole future of the Australian economy as well as to a wide cross-section of government and industry policies. It is not only most welcome but will be of great value" , the Shadow Minister for Finance, Senator Peter Rae, said today.

"Naturally the Opposition also welcomes the fact that the Report supports and confirms the underlying bases upon which the Coalition's Industry & Commerce Policy was prepared as well as reaching many similar policy conclusions and proposals.

"In particular, there is the encouraging recognition that Australia 'can do it' in the export market for manufactured goods .

' ■ The Report highlights the matters which prefaced the Opposition policy. Australia does have the resources, the skills, the institutions and infrastructure which are necessary to restore our position from one of decline to one of growth

in comparative living standards. It is through the revitalisation of manufacturing industry and the stimulation of exports of appropriate’ manufactured goods and services that we can restore internal growth, wealth, and employment.

"The means for revitalising industry involves a policy package which includes such items as review and changes to theExport Markets Development Scheme and to the Trade Commissioner Service and its direction of effort. It also includes restructuring

of the concentration of investment in,and development of, aspects of Australian industry.

"Effective marketing can offset some of the cost disadvantages from which Australia suffers. Leadership in design and tech­ nology can make Australia competitive. Accordingly, policies to encourage research and development, high standards, and .the provision of incentives to particular industries to expand

and export, all play an important part. A more effective operation of the offsets policy is another important component.

"All of these formed specific parts of both the Ferris Report and of the Opposition Policy which I released in August last year", Senator Rae said.

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"We see the Industries Assistance Commission being restructured as the Industries Development Commission.

"However, Australia must recognise that it is also essential to ensure that unnecessary regulations which shackle industry, the absurdity of the extra cost of inappropriate employment conditions, penalty rates, government charges and other avoidable wage on-costs must also be changed if we are to achieve that

revitalisation and restore real long-term growth", Senator Rae concluded.

Contact : Pip Rowell (003) 311711