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Wednesday, 20 August 1980
Page: 571

Mr Leo McLeay (GRAYNDLER, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs, upon notice, on 14 May 1980:

(   1 ) Has his attention been drawn to reports that in response to a proposal by an International Year of the Child National Committee of Non-Government Organisations, the Australian Toy Association has stated that it is (a) not in favour of war toys being sold in Australia and (b) of the opinion that all war toys on sale in Australia are imported from Asian countries by suppliers who are not members of the Australian Toy Association.

(2)   Does the Government propose to take steps to restrict the importation of war toys to Australia; if so, what steps will be taken.

Mr Garland - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   If any toys poses a risk of injury to children then the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs may take action to ban the supply of that toy under section 62 of the Trade Practices Act. Action is also taken under the Customs Act to ban imports.

Such a case occurred in January this year when a ban was placed on the sale in, and import into, Australia of children's toys and playthings coated with materials containing excessive levels of toxic materials such as cadmium, arsenic, mercury and lead.

There are differing opinion as to which toys might be classed as 'war' toys. Furthermore, the Department of Business and Consumer Affairs has not received any information that any particular toy which might be considered to be a war' toy caused injury to children.

Should any toy be proven to present a risk of injury to children then the Government will take appropriate action to control the sale of that toy. At present there is not sufficient evidence available to support the view that a banning of so called 'war' toys would be justified.

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