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Tuesday, 8 May 1973
Page: 1751

Mr EDWARDS (BEROWRA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the AttorneyGeneral and Minister for Customs and Excise in his latter capacity. I refer to the decision of the Minister for Customs and Excise to refer to the Tariff Board the question of allowing duty free entry to Australia for a wide range of basic construction materials - a decision of which, with his characteristic reticence, the Attorney-General and Minister for Customs and Excise did not, according to Press reports, inform his Cabinet colleagues, even though as the 'Australian Financial Review', for instance, rightly suggests this move by the Minister for Customs and Excise is worth a dozen inquiries into meat prices on which Cabinet placed such stress at the time in its fight to contain inflation. Will the Minister give urgent consideration to including sawn timber on the list of materials in the reference as this would lead automatically to a significant reduction in the cost of home building which, as has come out this morning, is a matter of some concern to people, including his colleague the Minister for Housing?

Mr CONNOR (CUNNINGHAM, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Minerals and Energy) - My answer is a simple one: I will refer the question to my colleague. It will be examined. The honourable member will be informed of the answer in due course.

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