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Thursday, 25 November 1971
Page: 3636


Mr KELLY (WAKEFIELD, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - My question, which I direct to the Acting Minister for Trade and Industry, is supplementary to the one asked yesterday by the honourable member for Wentworth. Is the Minister aware that the effective rate of protection on cars is in excess of 60 per cent? Does he know that the increased cost of utilities and cars caused by this protection is bitterly resented in the bush where these vehicles are essential tools of trade? Will the Minister assure me that the study which the Government is conducting will include a full Tariff Board inquiry so that the disadvantages as well as the advantages of this already high protection can be properly weighed?


Mr HOLTEN (INDI, VICTORIA) (Minister for Repatriation) - I am not in a position to give the honourable member an assurance that there will be a full Tariff Board inquiry into the automotive industry, in answering the question asked by the honourable member for Wentworth yesterday, I said that a review was being made of the motor vehicle plans scheme, not the whole of the automotive vehicle manufacturing industry which does have an effective rate of duty approximating the figure that the honourable member gave, although 1 was under the impression that the actual rate was 45 per cent. This level of protection has been arrived at as a result of a Tariff Board inquiry.

I think that 1 should mention here that the Australian automotive industry is not the only automotive industry in the world that is protected from overseas competition by tariffs, exchange control, quantitative restrictions or import licensing. The duty that applies at present on motor vehicles in Australia has been arrived at after a full Tariff Board inquiry. I conclude by repeating that the matter to which I referred in particular in answer to the honourable member for Wentworth yesterday was a review of the motor vehicle plans scheme and not of the whole of the automotive industry.







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