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Wednesday, 16 August 1972
Page: 108

Senator CARRICK (New South Wales) - The1 purpose of this Industrial Research and Development Grants Bill is to amend the Industrial Research and Development Grants Act 1967. The Bill seeks not only to extend the period for a further 5 years as from July this year but also to extend the terms and conditions of the Act. I think the Senate should remind itself that the Act was of particular significance to Australia. As Senator Webster has so ably pointed out, it was designed to stimulate and increase the rate of industrial research and development in manufacturing and mining companies in Australia. As the honourable senator so rightly said, the aim was not to subsidise but to increase.

We do well to remind ourselves that in 1968-69, when a survey was made of some 13,000 companies, which were asked whether they could enter into this type of research, only 1,320 of them replied that they had the necessary research facilities to go ahead at that time, and only 546 firms qualified in that year. I think that that was an indication - if ever we could obtain it from figures - that in this country we required a great upsurge in industrial research and development through grants. The original Act was aimed only at companies incorporated in Australia. That should be kept in mind. Senator Webster has referred to overseas companies. The original Act also was aimed only at those companies which had professionally qualified persons already on the staff to do research or which had people basically capable of assisting. Under that original Act. 808 company grants were extended by June 1971.

Debate interrupted.

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