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Thursday, 24 June 1999
Page: 7441

Mr McMULLAN (1:56 PM) —I move:

Page 103 (after line 25), after clause 116 add the following part:

Part 14—Independent inquiry

117 Independent inquiry concerning automotive industry

(1) Before 1 July 2003 the Minister must cause to be established an independent inquiry into the future of Australia's automotive industry. The inquiry must address, in particular, the most appropriate rates of customs duty to apply from 1 January 2005 on passenger motor vehicles and the categories of related componentry and products specified in this Act.

(2) After the Minister receives the report of the inquiry established under this section the Minister may issue a written certificate stating that the Minister has received the report and is satisfied rates of customs should be amended from the inquiry certificate day as provided in this Act.

(3) The Minister must arrange for a copy of the certificate under subsection (2) to be published in the Gazette.

(4) Subject to subsection (5) the day on which the certificate under subsection (2) is published in the Gazette is the inquiry certificate day.

(5) If the copy of the certificate issued under subsection (2) is published in the Gazette before 1 January 2005, the inquiry certificate day is taken to be 1 January 2005.

(6) The Minister must cause copies of the report of the inquiry established under this section to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after receiving the report.

I will speak briefly to the amendment now. On a subsequent occasion we will have a longer consideration in detail when I will say some more, but my colleague the member for Kingston, who has a particular interest in these matters, also wishes to have a say about this amendment at this stage. I simply want to say that we heard in the response of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources the government's case for not having an inquiry, which was that they are actually going to have an inquiry but they do not want to carry a motion saying so. This seems to be a rather bizarre extension of the argument that you just cannot agree to anything if the opposition propose it. Nevertheless, I have moved the amendment, and I will return to speak to it at a later time.