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Thursday, 9 December 1976
Page: 3693

Mr Scholes asked the Minister representing the Minister for Industry and Commerce, upon notice:

(1)   Has Zora Fashions of Geelong and Melbourne been refused permission to import (a) lining materials and (b) stretch courtelle for use in the manufacture of fashion goods.

(2)   If so, was the reason given for these refusals that supplies of these or similar materials are available from Australian sources.

(3)   Are imports of fashion goods containing the same or similar materials permitted without regard for the ability of Australian sources to supply them.

(4)   If so, does this policy seriously disadvantage the Australian manufacturers.

(5)   Will he indicate why differing criteria apply to the suppliers of material and the product of the manufacturer.

Mr Howard -The Minister for Industry and Commerce has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(   1 ) Tariff quotas were introduced on knitted and woven man-made fibre fabrics in December 1974 in accordance with recommendations ofthe Textiles Authority and following report by the Industries Assistance Commission respectively. However, under tariff quota arrangements there is no absolute limit on the quantities which may be imported at full rates of duty.

The tariff quota system applying to a wide range of textile and apparel items including knitted and woven man-made fibre fabrics was reviewed by the Government earlier this year and it was decided to continue, to 28 February 1 977, the tariff quota arrangements currently applying at that time with some increases in tariff quota levels.

These tariff quota arrangements are intended to ensure that the industry sectors concerned are protected from damage from excessive levels of imports and to ensure that reasonable stability of production and employment is maintained pending decisions on the long term assistance measures for those industry sectors. Decisions on these long term assistance measures will be taken by the Government when it receives final reports from the Industries Assistance Commission on current references covering these industry sectors.

Zora Fashions is in receipt of a tariff quota allocation to import a quantity of both knitted and woven man-made fibre fabric in the current quota period at the by-law rate of duty.

(2)   The company requested an increased tariff quota allocation to enable it to import additional quantities of man-made fibre fabrics at the by-law rate of duty. In the administration of the quota arrangements the allocation of additional tariff quota for fabric is considered where it can be established that fabrics suitable for a particular manufacturing requirement are not readily available from local sources of supply. However an increase could not be authorised at the tune of the company's application since there exists within the local industry a ready availability of fabrics similar to those required by Zora Fashions (International) Pty Ltd.

(3)   As indicated in ( I) above a similar system of tariff quotas applies to a wide range of mens' and womens' and childrens ' apparel.

(4)   See(3)above.

(5)   See (3)above.

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