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Jerry-can tooling leased to Rheem Australia Limited

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(Statement by the Minister for Productivity, Mr Ian Macphee)

The Department of Productivity has agreed to lease Commonwealth-owned

tooling to Rheem Australia Limited of Sydney, for the commercial

production of steel jerry-cans.

The Minister for Productivity, Mr Ian Macphee, said in Canberra today

(25 May) he had agreed to the firm's request to hire the equipment

as this was in line with his Department's aim of improving national

productivity, and assisting local industry to increase its

workload and maintain employment.

The tooling, developed by Rheem more than 20 years ago to manufacture

jerry-cans for the Australian Army, was put into Commonwealth

storage after the Army switched from steel to plastic cans.

Research by Rheem in the past five years has shown that Australia

imports up to 160 000 jerry-cans - valued at $1m - annually for

civilian use, mainly from Europe and Asia.

The company believes it can manufacture a viable product to compete

with imported jerry-cans.

Mr Macphee said the Army had sufficient supplies to meet its own

foreseeable needs, so he was pleased to encourage the enterprise

shown by Rheem in trying to re-establish this type of manufacturing

for commercial sales. '

Rheem jerry-cans are expected to appear on the market next month.

CANBERRA, 25 May 1978

Further information:

Minister's Office: Rob Palfreyman 733233

Department: Fred Witsenhuysen 482449 (W)

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