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Wednesday, 13 November 1985
Page: 2070


Senator Sir JOHN CARRICK —My question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. I ask: Is there any truth in the rumour that the Government is contemplating some form of import levies to stem the tide of imports and to abate the adverse balance of trade? If not, will the Government indicate that it will not adopt that method of added protection? I ask further: Do Bureau of Statistics forecasts indicate any significant decline in imports in the immediate months ahead? Do those forecasts, based on past trends, indicate any worthwhile increase in export earnings in those immediate months ahead?


Senator BUTTON —The answer to the first part of the question is no. The answer to the second part of the question is that, having said no to the first part, it seems to me to be largely irrelevant. With respect to the third part of the question, I personally-I may be remiss in this-am unaware of ABS statistics which forecast likely imports and likely exports. I am, however, aware of the Budget predictions in respect of these matters, and I am sure Senator Sir John Carrick is equally aware of those.