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Wednesday, 24 September 1958


Mr OSBORNE (Evans) (Minister for Air) . - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this bill is to amend the Tractor Bounty Act, to enable its operation to be extended by proclamation for a period expiring not later than 30th June, 1959, and allowing the bounty to be terminated before that date, should this be desired.

I would explain that the question of further assistance to the industry was referred to the Tariff Board, which has conducted public inquiries on the matter. However, the board has not yet presented' its report and, therefore, the Government considers it reasonable to extend the benefits of the bounty until such time as it is in a position to examine the recommendations of the Tariff Board. Hence, the proposal in this bill that the bounty may be extended by proclamation until 30th June, 1959.

The Tractor Bounty Act has provided for the payment of bounty on wheel-type tractors for the period of nineteen years which ends on 23rd October, 1958. The rates of bounty have been varied over the period, but generally speaking can be said currently to range up to £240 per tractor according to the belt pulley horse-power of the engine and the extent that parts made in Australia are used in the assembly of the tractor.

Bounty payments during the years ended 30th June, 1956, 1957 and 1958 were £55,035, £158,303 and £467,088, respectively, and the bounty claimants have been Howard Auto Cultivators Limited, Chamberlain Industries Proprietary Limited and International Harvester Company of Australia Proprietary Limited. The first claim from the International Harvester Company concerned production during the year ended 30th June, 1957.

The principle of assistance to this industry has been accepted on several occasions when the matter was previously before the House. The proposed amendment would enable the same measure of assistance as is now current to be continued until the Tariff Board's report has been received and considered by the Government.

I commened the bill to honorable members.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Calwell) adjourned.







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