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Thursday, 20 May 1965

Senator ANDERSON (New South Wales) (Minister for Customs and Excise) (12:50 PM) . - What the Government of New South Wales would do on this matter is a hypothetical question. Therefore, I think it is not proper for me to comment on the suggestion. This is an attempt by the Government to produce a scheme which will give an advantage to country people. We have to take things as they are. We must have a scheme which is acceptable to the State Governments and to the oil companies. If some of the contingencies conjured up by honorable senators arose, any government would have to look at the situation. The scheme has been based on petrol prices which are static, which are the subject of price control in three States, in an industry in which prices are fixed on internal trade arrangements. If some other circumstances arise, the situation will not be novel. As circumstances change, schemes and Acts of Parliament have to be re-examined.

As this scheme has been mutually agreed upon by the Commonwealth, the oil companies and the State Governments at the conference table, there is every reason to hope that it will succeed. It was evolved in good faith. All the normal safeguards that can be thought of at this point of time have been written into the scheme. I am satisfied that with the co-operation of all the parties, which obviously we shall have, this will be of great advantage to country people.

Bill agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.

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