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Tuesday, 29 May 1973
Page: 2730

Mr KELLY (WAKEFIELD, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Is the Prime Minister aware of the statement issued recently by the Australian Industries Development Association, a well-known protectionist lobby group, criticising the Tariff Board for having commissioned and published an independent study of consumer intentions in connection with the current inquiry by the Tariff Board into colour television? Does he agree with AIDA that such a study prejudges the outcome of the Board's inquiries? If so, can the Prime Minister explain in what way such independent studies prejudice the results of Tariff Board inquiries? Does he consider that the commissioning of independent research and survey work is essential to the continuing independence and objectivity of the Tariff Board?

Mr WHITLAM - I noticed that the Australian Industries Development Association had made such comments. I believe that such comments do its case no good at all. The Tariff Board is entitled to get evidence of the sort that it commissioned in this case. I believe that the Australian public will have more confidence in the reports of the Tariff Board if it is allowed to conduct inquiries independently and in a way in which it is seen to be acting independently. AIDA can do a great deal of good for its members and, incidentally, for the public. It does its case no good at all by these constant .aspersions on the Tariff Board.

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