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Thursday, 15 October 1970

Mr BROWN (DIAMOND VALLEY, VICTORIA) - My question is addressed to the Minister for Shipping and Transport in his capacity as Minister assisting the Minister for Trade and Industry. The Minister will recall that, when he introduced the Industrial Research and Development Grants Bill in 1967. he said that the Government recognised the need for the incentive provided by payment under that legislation to have a reasonable and certain continuity and that the scheme would operate initially for 5 years. With that background. I ask the Minister: First, why has the Government altered the scheme after 3 years to reduce the general grants paid under the Act to 33 per cent of eligible expenditure instead of 50 per cent as previously; secondly, is this reduction not a break in the continuity of the scheme; and, thirdly, will the Government consider reverting to the 50 per cent grants especially as expenditure under the scheme last year was apparently $2m less than had been appropriated?

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