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Tuesday, 15 May 1973
Page: 2058

Mr MORRIS (SHORTLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has the attention of the Minister for the Environment and Conservation been drawn to the high capital cost to industry of the installation of effective air pollution control equipment? Does he agree that there is an urgent need in medium to small industries for the installation of new plant that is non-pollutant in operation? Will he inform the House of what steps have been taken to encourage the installation of such new plant? Will he take up with the Treasurer the possibility of accelerated depreciation allowances and/or special grants to hasten the introduction of new plant in pollutant industries?

Dr CASS (MARIBYRNONG, VICTORIA) (Minister for the Environment and Conservation) - I am not in a position to give a specific answer to this question. The whole matter is being reviewed. Quite clearly, in some instances where it is in the national interest to encourage actively both the elimination of the source of pollution and yet the maintenance of the particular product there is a case for providing assistance. But in some situations it may be against the community interest to encourage a particluar industry to survive, anyway. In other words, each issue will have to be judged on its merits and there is no blanket statement to be made at ali. We are certainly looking into all the possibilities but once again, of course, the co-operation of the States will be required, because to date we have not the means to judge whether or not specific industries are responsible. This depends upon information which at this stage can only come from the States. So the whole matter is in the melting pot and is being considered by the Australian Environment Council and its various committees.

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