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Wednesday, 1 October 1958

Mr OSBORNE (EVANS, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Air) - I understand that, as part of a general review of customs procedures which has been going on for several years and has been pursued vigorously by my colleague in the Senate, some long-standing practices of the Department of Customs and Excise have been reexamined with a view to avoiding inconvenience to the commercial community and reducing the cost of administration. I understand that, as part of that general review, alterations are being put into effect in the method of supervising the collection and payment of duty on petroleum products, but to say, as the honorable member did in his question, that normal customs procedures will be abolished is quite wrong. The procedures are likely to be altered. As the object of the exercise is to save administrative costs both to the department and to the commercial community, it seems to me very unlikely that the alterations could result in higher administrative costs, as the honorable member has suggested.

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