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Thursday, 14 November 1974
Page: 2398

Senator LAUCKE (South Australia) - In view of the very drastic reductions in the clearance of brandy in the last 12 months and bearing in mind that brandy production is a very important outlet for grape production, there are fears in the industry at all times because of past experience that there should not be ready release of production of grapes. This is a major industry in Australia but one which fears for the future. I ask the Minister for Customs and Excise (Senator Murphy) whether in light of the reduced clearance of Australian brandy in the last 12 months he will look at the situation. It was said before the 1972 election that the remaining excise of 25c on wine would be removed and that no alternative taxation would be imposed on the industry. Senator Hall has just interjected that the Premier of South Australia knows all about that. He was the man who promised on behalf of the Party now governing that there would be no replacement of the charge when the excise on wine was taken off. Now we find that a much more severe imposition has been placed on the industry with the result that the sales of locally produced brandy have fallen drastically. I now ask: In view of the general situation in respect of the industry's future arising from governmental action, will the Government now consider reducing the excise on Australian brandy?

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