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Tuesday, 4 October 1983
Page: 1325

Question No. 292

Mr Lloyd asked the Minister representing the Minister for Industry and Commerce , upon notice, on 26 May 1983:

(1) What is the present level of tariff or other form of import protection for telecommunications equipment, including cable and telephone handsets, purchased by (a) Telecom Australia and (b) private users.

(2) Is the level of protection being reviewed or intended to be reviewed in the next 12 months.

Mr John Brown —The Minister for Industry and Commerce has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) Most items of telecommunications equipment are classified within item 85.13 of the Customs Tariff Act 1982.

A General rate of duty of 30 per cent is applicable to this item. Entry at concessional rates is available for imports of New Zealand or Developing Country origin.

Goods that, at the time of importation, are owned by Telecom Australia are exempt Customs duties.

(2) There is no review currently underway of assistance to cable or telephone handsets or to the bulk of the telecommunications equipment industry. There is a current inquiry by the Industries Assistance Commission into assistance for computers which extends to computers used in conjunction with telecommunications equipment.

Consideration is currently being given to the scope and timing of a possible reference to the Commission on the question of assistance to the Australian telecommunications equipment industry.