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Thursday, 6 December 1973
Page: 2539

Senator LAUCKE (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I desire to ask a question of the Minister representing the Minister for Science. I refer to the warning issued by the Minister for Science, Mr Morrison, that purchase of colour television sets should be delayed until necessary safety standards concerning radiation and flammability have been set. As the Government has indicated that the standards will be announced in June of next year, will action be taken to expedite a determination of the safety standards so that the manufacturing industry will not be unduly prejudiced and delayed in setting up its production program?

Senator MURPHY -Yes, I understand that some radiation warnings were given by the Australian Broadcasting Control Board and the Department of Health some time ago. Of course, it is important that the safety standards and the legal effect of them be made known. I would envisage that when the Trade Practices Bill, which is now before the Senate, becomes law, the section that deals with consumer product standards will be utilised so that regulations can be made pursuant to that section to deal with such a topic. I ask Senator Laucke to do his utmost to assist in having that Bill brought speedily into law so that we may have such standards. The honourable senator will appreciate the importance of our having a national standard for television sets as well as for many other commodities so that there are not differing State standards, with all the confusion and disruption that this causes to industry. There is a very strong case for the evolution of these national standards in respect of such matters. Leaving other questions aside, I should hope that all honourable senators would agree that a speedy passage ought to be given to those consumer protection provisions of the law.

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