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Wednesday, 10 November 1976
Page: 2513

Mr McVEIGH (DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND) -Is the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs aware of the special need for big capacity imported auto headers in grain areas of Australia, such as the electorates of Maranoa and Darling Downs? Do local manufacturers agree that no comparable capacity machines are manufactured in Australia? Would the manufacture of machines of such capacity in Australia result, on account of the limited market requirement, in significant purchase price increases in comparison with the imported machines? In view of these circumstances, will the Minister advise whether concessional by-law entry will be granted, and on what conditions, for these imported machines?

Mr HOWARD (BENNELONG, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs) -The honourable gentleman has drawn my attention to a matter that has been the subject of representations from a number of honourable members, including those representing the electorates he named and also the honourable members for Angas and Wakefield. As a result of those representations and also representations from various farmer organisations, the Bureau of Customs discussed the matter with local manufacturers. There was some acknowledgment by local manufacturers that some of the harvesters now being imported into Australia have a much greater harvesting capacity than locally manufactured harvesters. As a consequence, I have approved a by-law for the duty free admission of certain large selfpropelled combine harvesters outside the range of local manufacture. For the purposes of administration of the by-law, the diameter and capacity dimensions will be involved. Full details will be the subject of publication in the form of a consolidated by-law reference. The point about price comparison is a little difficult to answer in the absence of suitably equivalent locally manufactured units. A price comparison cannot be made until such time as suitably equivalent units are manufactured locally.

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