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Thursday, 27 June 1996
Page: 2378


Senator SPINDLER(1.48 p.m.) —The Australian Democrats are of a mind not to support these amendments, but I would like to respond to the minister who challenged me on the policy that we are pursuing in supporting or opposing the removal of tariffs.

Doesn't the minister understand that there is a difference between tariffs that are optional on goods that you may decide to buy? Doesn't he understand that imposing a tariff cut on imports makes it harder for Australian manufacturers? Doesn't he understand that, on the other hand, it disadvantages Australian manufacturers when there are no products and no capital equipment of that type being made in Australia but they have to pay an additional three per cent?  There are two entirely different situations, and it is rather a pity that the minister cannot see the difference.