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Wednesday, 5 October 1983
Page: 1371


Mr JOHN BROWN (Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism, Minister for Administrative Services and Minister Assisting the Minister for Industry and Commerce)(4.05) —I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The Bounty (Tractor Cabs) Bill 1983 implements part of the Government's package of short term assistance for the tractor industry. It provides for a bounty of 15 per cent of factory cost on cabs produced and sold in Australia for fitting to imported agricultural tractors. A recent swing to increased importation of tractors in completely built up form has adversely affected local producers of tractor cabs and wheels. The Temporary Assistance Authority, in its report on agricultural wheeled tractors, considered that this trend was of a long term nature and that the consequent problems faced by the local industry were of a structural nature not amenable to solution by short term assistance measures. Accordingly, the TAA recommended no temporary assistance for cab and wheel manufacturers.

The Government considers that it is not clear whether the trend to completely built up imports is long term, or whether it is as a result of current short term world conditions. It has therefore decided that a production bounty should be paid on cabs, pending completion of the Industries Assistance Commission inquiry currently in progress. The proposed level of bounty, which is 15 per cent of factory cost, roughly equates the proposed doubled bounty payable to local tractor manufacturers insofar as the latter also produce cabs for their own tractors. No bounty will be payable however, unless the cabs in question have an Australian content of 85 per cent or more.

It is estimated that the additional bounty assistance as proposed in this Bill could cost up to $0.75m in a full year depending on levels of sales. In the last Autumn sitting of the Parliament, certain provisions contained in the Bounty Acts then before the Parliament were highlighted by the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills as being contrary to the terms of reference of the Committee in that they might be regarded as trespassing unduly on personal rights and liberties. Clause 15 in this Bill has been drafted so that it might not be regarded as trespassing unduly on personal rights and liberties. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Braithwaite) adjourned.