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Tuesday, 9 March 1971
Page: 694

Mr IRWIN (MITCHELL, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I preface my question to the Minister for Trade and Industry by stating that I am a Bert Kelly protectionist and not. a Ned Kelly protectionist. Can the Minister state when the formula and programme for holding an investigation into the functions and administration of the Tariff Board will be prepared? If an inquiry is to be held, is it not most desirable that it be held as quickly as possible?

Mr ANTHONY - There has never been a statement saying that there shall be such an all-embracing review of the Tariff Board and its functions as suggested by the honourable member. The Government has stated that there shall be a progressive review of tariffs and that the Minister for Trade and Industry is' charged with carrying out an examination of how this progressive review of tariffs is to be done. At the moment I am having consultations with industry groups. Last week J met with the Conference of Manufacturing Industries Association and with the Manufacturing Industries Advisory Council. This week I will be meeting with the Associated Chambers of Commerce and the Australian Farmers Federation and will be seeking their points of view as to the rules and principles which should be- adopted in carrying out such a review. When I have sought the views and opinions of these bodies I will be preparing a paper to submit to Cabinet and the Government will then make a decision which will be announced in public.

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