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Thursday, 30 April 1987
Page: 2364

The following answers to questions were circulated:

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Mr Barry Jones —On 31 March 1987 (Hansard page 1757), the honourable member for Gippsland (Mr McGauran) asked me as Minister Assisting the Treasurer on Prices a question without notice concerning the changed arrangements for the marketing of the Royal Australian Mint's coin collector sets and the reasons for the significant price increase for those sets this year. The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

Following a review in 1986 of marketing arrangements for the Mint's numismatic coinage products (which includes collector sets manufactured to both proof and uncirculated quality standards), it was decided that there would be cost savings in the Mint resuming responsibility for marketing arrangements following the conclusion of a contract with Jaggard Coins Australia Pty Ltd. The change in the marketing arrangements have no bearing on the increase in the price of the 1987 coin collector sets.

The major reason for the increase in the price of uncirculated coin sets in 1987 is that the costs of producing these sets have increased significantly in recent years, partly reflecting improvements made in the quality of their packaging/presentation.

There was also a substantial increase in demand for the 1985 and 1986 uncirculated sets, reflecting the fact that they were (along with proof sets) the only source of some coin denominations produced in those years. This is expected to be the case again in 1987. The increase in demand for the 1985 and 1986 coin sets has resulted in a sharp increase in their price in secondary market trading to levels beyond the Mint's issue price. At the new price of $9.70 the sets could still be said to be substantially undervalued, given that their value in the market place is much higher than their sale price. It is reasonable for the Commonwealth to seek to capture at least part of the scarcity premium attached to these sets for the benefit of taxpayers generally who ultimately provide the resources for their production.

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