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Tuesday, 9 May 1961

Mr OSBORNE (Evans) (Ministerfor Repatriation) . - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this bill is to amend the Cellulose Acetate Flake Bounty Act to enable the operation of the bounty to be extended by proclamation to a date not later than 31st December, 1961, and allow the bounty to be ended before that date, should this be desired. The question of continued assistance to the industry was referred to the Tariff Board on 28th July, 1960. Public inquiries have been held but the board has not yet presented its report. The Government considers it reasonable to continue the benefits of the bounty until it has examined the recommendations of the Tariff Board. Hence the proposal in this bill that the bounty may be extended by proclamation to 31st December, 1961.

The Cellulose Acetate Flake Bounty Act provides for a bounty of10d. per lb. on cellulose acetate flake produced in Australia and sold for use in the manufacture of textile rayon yarn for six years ending on 30th June, 1961. C.S.R. Chemicals Proprietary Limited is the only applicant for bounty. The company has received bounty payments in respect of flake sold during the year ended 30th June, 1956, amounting to £99.489, for 1957, amounting to £113.258, for 1958, amounting to £100,981, for 1959, amounting to £124,286, and for 1960, amounting to £120,033. For sales during the six months to 31st December, 1960, the company has received £73,603.

The principle of assisting cellulose acetate flake production by bounty rather than import duties was adopted in 1956. The bounty was designed to avoid imposing additional costs on this basic material essential to the Australian rayon textile industries. The proposed amendment will enable the present assistance to be continued until the Tariff Board's report has been received and considered by the Government.

I commend the bill to honorable members.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Pollard) adjourned.

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