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Thursday, 4 June 1970

Mr SPEAKER - There being no objection, leave is granted.

Mr CHIPP - Following representations from potato growers and processors towards the end of 1968. the Tariff Board was asked to conduct an inquiry into the frozen potato products industry. At that time growers were experiencing glut conditions and low prices, and were concerned that imports of frozen potato products could damage the Australian industry.

The Tariff Board has recommended that the present duties on frozen potato products be not changed. The Board found that the local industry is expanding and considered that economic and efficient growers and processors, such as those operating in northwest Tasmania, need have no fears that competition from imports at current duty levels will seriously affect their ability to compete on the Australian market.

In its report, the Board stated that most recent imports have been at dumped prices and that such competition has contributed to the marketing problems of Australian processors. The Board added that dumping by overseas exporters constitutes a threat of injury to the Australian frozen potato industry.

As honourable members will know, the Government has a policy protecting Australian industries against damage from overseas competition at dumped prices. Accordingly, the Government has accepted the Board's finding on dumping and 1 have arranged the publication of a dumping notice in today's Commonwealth Gazette. This action will empower the Government to apply anti-dumping duties on further shipments of potato products at dumped prices.

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