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Senator Ferguson, pursuant to notice, moved--That the Senate--

(a) notes that:

(i) this Labor Government has followed a policy of

increasing taxation on any industry which shows signs

of being successful,

(ii) the Government and the Australian Democrats have both

indicated that they favour tax increases over

expenditure cuts as a means of deficit reduction,

(iii) currently there are around 3 500 grape growing

establishments in Australia with some 68 000 hectares

under vines,

(iv) the majority of grapes are grown on small holdings of

less than 20 hectares by independent growers,

(v) in spite of a vine-pull program in the 1980s, wine

grape production has now more than doubled since the

early 1970s,

(vi) the wine industry set itself a target of up to one

billion dollars in exports by the year 2000,

(vii) the past 3 or 4 years have seen an enormous expansion

of wine grape vineyard investment, which is now locked

in, and

(viii) the recent draft report by the committee of inquiry

into the wine grape and wine industry has made

recommendations which could seriously undermine the

confidence in this one bright light in the rural

economy; and

(b) urges the Government to reject both the majority and minority

reports' recommendations for an increase in wine taxes, which

would seriously undermine the wine industry in general but would

have its most devastating effect on wine grape growers who are

price-takers and not price-setters.

Debate ensued.

Question put and passed.