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Monday, 11 November 1991
Page: 2805

Senator ARCHER —Has the Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce seen a booklet entitled The Australian Anti-Dumping System—The Need for Radical Reform, produced by Freehill Hollingdale and Page? Has he studied the proposals that are offered with a view to providing a quicker, simpler and less expensive method for dealing with the increasing number of dumping complaints being raised by Australian producers of primary and secondary products? Does the Minister believe that the suggestions have merit and can be considered with a view to any possible implementation?

Senator BUTTON —I have not read the booklet itself but it has been drawn to my attention. I think the model which is adopted in that booklet is very much on the American lines. I have to say—with all due respect and sympathy to the legal firm of Freehill Hollingdale and Page—that the American system is an absolute bonanza for lawyers. I would not for a moment think that Freehill Hollingdale and Page had published the booklet with that in mind but I draw it to the honourable senator's attention as a coincidental fact which might have relevance to the sort of judgment he makes about the proposed system.

  I do not have anything further to add at this stage but, certainly, in the next week or two I will be looking at that publication because the Government has had a review of dumping procedures which is almost complete. Of course, in completing that review, that publication has to be taken into account. Dumping is an area in which there is enormous misinformation put about by various sides in relation to dumping complaints. No coherent picture emerges from newspaper and public debate about dumping. I see some madly inaccurate articles in newspapers from time to time about comparable systems overseas.