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Thursday, 10 October 1985
Page: 1041


Senator VIGOR(9.54) —I move:

(4) After clause 15, add the following clause:

`15A. The Principal Act is amended by adding after Part II the following Part.

`PART IIA-SMALL EXPORTERS GRANTS

Grants to small exporters

``20A. (1) A person may submit to the Board a plan of proposed eligible expenditure, not exceeding $10,000 in any year, to be incurred by that person during one or more years.

``(2) The Board may approve a plan submitted under sub-section (1), or may approve that plan subject to such modifications of the plan as the Board considers desirable after consultation with the person who submitted the plan.

``(3) Where a person submits a claim under sub-section 13 (1), and the Board has, under sub-section (2), approved, or approved with modifications, a plan relating to the eligible expenditure which is the subject of that claim, this Act has application to that claim as if paragraph 14 (4) (b) were omitted.

``(4) Where a claim to which sub-section (3) applies is submitted after 1 July 1986, notwithstanding any other provisions of this Act payment of grant in respect of that claim may be made by quarterly instalments.

``(5) Where the Board has, under sub-section (2), approved, or approved with modifications, a plan submitted under sub-section (1), the person who submitted that plan submitted under sub-section (1), the person who submitted that plan shall provide to the Board, not later than 12 months after the Board approved, or approved with modifications, that plan, a statement of progress made by that person in exporting eligible goods.''.

The aim of this amendment is to offer a possibility for grants to the small exporters who have been disadvantaged by the $5,000 limit. We have heard much crying and moaning from the Liberal and National parties about the problem of these people. We are trying here to solve that problem by offering a scheme which cannot be distorted or used as a rort. The idea of the scheme is that there be pre-notification of the type of expenditure planned, that this would apply to exporters who are not going to claim more than $10,000 in any year from the scheme and that these people, provided they have an approved plan for their expenditure, would have the $5,000 limit waived. We do not believe that they should have an automatic right to claim below that $5,000 level. We believe it is very important that the new Trade Commission should check their plans for export marketing and help them by making quarterly payments after they actually make the expenditure.