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Thursday, 20 April 1972
Page: 1280

Senator CAVANAGH (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I direct a question to the Minister representing the Treasurer. In view of the present overproduction in most primary industries, how does the Government justify the retention of section 75 (1.) (b) of the Income Tax Act which gives a 100 per cent tax deduction for clearing land of natural growth? Is this a Commonwealth subsidy to destroy natural growth to permit the uneconomical production of primary industries already in over-supply, which again necessitates a

Commonwealth subsidy? Is the original subsidy in the form a tax deduction to be supplemented by a further subsidy so improvishing the nation, depriving it of the natural flora and fauna and at the same time creating higher taxes?

Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSON I think that the question should go on notice. However, I am not certain whether it should be directed to the Treasurer because I think it deals with the broad canvass of production and productivity. In that sense, I would like to have it referred to the Department of Primary Industry. Of course, there is a blatant paradox in the question which suggests that because there is over-production in some primary industries we should not be encouraging production in the normal sense. If that is to be our political philosophy I would say that Australia is doomed because we are a young country and we must develop productivity. We are ยป primary producing and exporting country. The way to national stagnation would be to accept a suggestion that because some overproduction may occur in some areas, therefore we should down tools and not produce. I could not subscribe to that view.

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