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Friday, 4 May 1984
Page: 1617

(Question No. 730)


Senator Peter Rae asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce, upon notice, on 27 March 1984:

Will the Government convene a footwear summit as was suggested by the Australian Footwear Retailers Committee last November; if not, why not.


Senator Button —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

The request to convene a footwear summit was first proposed to me by the Australian Retailers' Association Footwear Committee at a meeting of the Footwear Industry Advisory Council in November 1983.

The Council, which comprised representatives of manufacturers, unions, retailers, importers, consumers and the Government, was meeting primarily to discuss the draft report of the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Advisory Committee (Elix Committee) prior to that report being forwarded to the Government for consideration. It was in the context of discussions on the draft report, including various aspects of the tender quota arrangements, that the request for a 'summit' was made.

The views of all interests present at the meeting were canvassed and there was little support for the Footwear Committee's request. Moreover, following the Council meeting I received submissions from several interests including unions, manufacturers and importers expressing concern that the current TCF plan be re- opened in a way which would create uncertainty regarding the basic elements of the seven year plan. These interests also suggested that the proper place to discuss assistance arrangements for the footwear industry is the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Industry Council and its associated sub-committee on footwear.

I have already advised the Footwear Committee that the new Council arrangements will ensure that footwear retailers' views will receive consideration. Under these arrangements footwear retailers have direct representation on the footwear sub-committee as well as being represented on the main TCF Council through the Australian Retailers Association.