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Thursday, 27 April 1972
Page: 1365

Senator MURPHY - Is the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Industry aware that an application was made by Fibremakers Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Imperial Chemical Industries company, which was heard by the Tariff Board? Is he aware that the application, which was for duties in excess of 20 per cent on certain basic materials, was rejected by the Tariff Board? Is he aware also that thereafter allegations of dumping made by the same company were investigated and rejected, and that nevertheless a further application has been made for temporary duties on the basic materials? Can the Minister tell us whose responsibility it is - if it is the responsibility of anyone - ito put before the authority hearing such an application the possible effects on the cost of living in Australia if it is true, as has been suggested to me, that the granting of the application would increase substantially the cost to the consumer of knitwear, shirts and other garments? Can the Minister tell us whose duty it is to deal with these matters which greatly affect the cost structure in Australia? If he is unable to do so will he seek the information and inform the Senate?

Senator COTTON - I think the latter part of the honourable senator's question is the part that I will have to take up. I shall have to make inquiries for him of the responsible Minister. In general the Department of Trade and Industry has reporting to it the Tariff Board and the Special Advisory Authority which deal with matters of this kind. Within the Department there is an Office of Secondary Industry which has regard to the implications and complications of issues such as those the honourable senator mentioned. One would expect that the people in that Office would be those who would communicate the views in which the honourable senator is interested. Beyond that I do not think I can help him but I shall certainly see that he gets some information on this matter.

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