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Monday, 11 November 1985
Page: 1879

Senator WATSON —I direct my question to the Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce. Is the Government monitoring the compliance provisions of the motor vehicle industry plan to ensure that Australian manufacturers within the plan are meeting the 85 per cent local content guidelines? Has there been any breach, and if so what action has the Government taken?

Senator BUTTON —The answer to the first part of the question, as to whether the Government has been monitoring the compliance provisions of the motor vehicle plan, is yes. I think it is a matter of public knowledge that that monitoring has revealed at least a prima facie case of certain transfer pricing arrangements in respect of particular companies.

Insofar as the 85 per cent content rule in the plan is concerned, I have certainly not been informed by the Automotive Industry Authority, which has responsibility for these matters, of any breach of the 85 per cent rule. However, in saying that I remind Senator Watson that from time to time companies fall a little below the 85 per cent, but it averages out over a period. In that context I am satisfied at this stage that there has been no departure from the rule. I also understand, knowing the motor vehicle industry fairly well, that there are certain people who have an interest in alleging that that is so, but I do not think it is.