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Thursday, 20 April 1972
Page: 1951

Mr JEFF BATE (Macarthur) - The public believe that the shipping situation in Australia is pretty expensive - the internal or interstate shipping - compared with overseas shipping. I recall getting prices for the transport of fertiliser from Perth to Wyndham. It was about $20 or $40 a ton, at a time when fertiliser could be brought from Japan, probably as back loading, for $4 or $5 a ton. One of the big worries in this country, with its enormous coastline, is to get our goods around the country. We are told it is cheaper to send salt from Adelaide to Tokyo than from Adelaide to Sydney. This kind of situation inhibits interstate trade in Australia. It hinders industry. Transport becomes an enormous cost on our manufacturing and primary industries. I support the Bill. I oppose the amendment for obvious reasons.

Mr Hansen - What are the obvious reasons?

Mr JEFF BATE - I will try to give them. The Bill seeks to bring tonnage measurements in Australia up to date. If this can assist in easing transport costs it will be of some use. The matters in the amendment, praiseworthy though they might be, are not yet ready to be brought into legislation. The research has not been completed. The work is being done, but God forbid that we should bring it in before it is ready.

Mr Charles Jones - It has taken you 5 years and you still have not got it ready. How many more years do you want?

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