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Thursday, 11 October 1973
Page: 1978

Mr SINCLAIR (New England) - The Minister for Overseas Trade (Dr J. F. Cairns) has expounded, as I would see it, correctly and in detail, the purpose of the amendments moved by the Senate. There is only one area in which something perhaps might be added to his exposition, that is, that the amendments are not only for the purpose of making it possible for either House of Parliament to move for the disallowance of future regulations but also to make it possible for members of Parliament to be aware of the changes at the time the changes are intended rather than to have to read them in the 'Australian Government Gazette'. It is felt by the members of the Opposition that this manner of presentation of change has advantages. It is felt that members of Parliament should be advised if there are to be significant changes in legislation such as this where there is provided a positive incentive which seeks to reduce the cost of fuel in country areas. The purpose of the amendments is, of course, to ensure that parliamentarians can see and understand the changes and, if it is desired, take action on those changes at the time they are introduced.

This particular piece of legislation is one of those which were intended to provide for some general assistance to communities throughout Australia. It is one of those areas of infrastructure in costs which were adverted to yesterday during debates on the Estimates. It is an area which is of concern to all Australians to the degree to which there is an increase in the percentage of our income being spent on the cost of transporting both people and goods. This subsidy which provides for some reduction in the cost of fuel outside capital cities is an important method by which this cost can be and has been reduced. This change specifically will ensure that if there are future changes in this area the Parliament will be able to observe the changes and, as the Minister has explained, take action on them if it so desires. The Opposition fully supports the amendments moved by the Senate and it is pleased that the Government has seen fit to agree to them.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Resolution reported; reported adopted.

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