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Thursday, 22 October 1970

Mr CHIPP (Hotham) (Minister for Customs and Excise) - I move:

Customs Tariff Proposals No. 20 (1970).

Mr Speaker,the Customs Tariff Proposals I have just tabled propose amendments to the Customs Tariff 1966-1970. They implement the Government's acceptance of recommendations by the Tariff Board on the following reports:

Vinyl acetate and cellulose acetate flake - an interim report under the review inquiry on industrial chemicals; and

Gauze, cloth, grill, etc., of copper or copper alloy wire.

As is my custom, 1 have arranged for a copy of this speech to be distributed to honourable members so they can read it with me. A summary of the tariff changes and a glossary of technical terms are also being distributed.

The Tariff Board recommends duties of 50 per cent general tariff and 40 per cent preferential tariff for vinyl acetate. These duties, which represent a reduction of 10 per cent under both the general and the preferential tariff, will come into effect on 1st December 1970. On cellulose acetate flake the Board recommends that the existing duties of 5 per cent general tariff, free preferential tariff, remain unchanged. In addition the Board recommends the rate of bounty payment on the production and sale of cellulose acetate flake for use in the manufacture of cellulose acetate rayon yarn be varied from 5c perlb to 4c per lb, with a maximum payment of $200,000 in any one year. The new rate of bounty will operate from 1st December 1970 to 31st December 1973. A Bill to amend the Cellulose Acetate Flake Bounty Act 1956-1970 will be introduced in due course to give effect to the Government's decision.

I turn now to the report on gauze, cloth, grill, etc., of copper or copper alloy wire. The Tariff Board recommends duties of 25 per cent general tariff and 15 per cent preferential tariff, except for woven wire having a construction finer than 120 mesh which is to be free of duty from all sources. These rates represent no change on woven wire finer than 120 mesh but an increase in duty of 17½ per cent general tariff and 15 per cent preferential tariff on woven wire for paper-making machines. On other gauze, cloth and grill of copper or copper alloy wire there is a reduction in tariff protection of up to 35 per cent general tariff and 12½ per cent preferential tariff.

The Proposals also allow for accelerated duty phase-out on certain products imported from New Zealand as agreed to by the Australian and New Zealand Governments. These products, previously included in Schedule A to the New ZealandAustralia Free Trade Agreement will now be admitted free of duty from New Zealand. Also included are adjustments of duty rates on synthetic manufacturing perfumes and on waxy crudes for use as feedstock in the petroleum industry. This restores the basic position in relation to these goods at 30th June 1965. I commend the proposals.

Debate (on motion by Dr3. F. Cairns) adjourned.

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