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Wednesday, 15 May 1968

Mr DAVIES (BRADDON, TASMANIA) - I ask the Acting Minister for Trade and Industry whether his attention has been invited to a statement last week by a leading Tasmanian sawmiller to the effect that the reduction of tariff on imported New Zealand timber was killing the Tasmanian timber industry and that many Tasmanian timber concerns were just managing to keep their heads above water but could not hold out much longer. Is the Minister aware that the Tasmanian exporters suffer most because the New Zealand undressed indigenous timbers are now undercutting our products in Tasmania's traditional markets in Victoria where they are used for the same purposes as our timbers? Is he aware also that New Zealanders anticipate increased salesin Australia worth $lm per annum now that the duties have been lifted? Finally, will the Government take action now under the provisions of the

New Zealand-Australia Free Trade Agreement to protect the Tasmanian sawmilling industry before irreparable damage is done to this important industry and, consequently, to the economy of Tasmania?

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