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Wednesday, 13 September 1972
Page: 1263

Dr GUN (KINGSTON, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - ls the Treasurer aware that his colleague, the Minister for the Environment, Aborigines and the Arts, has indicated that environmental impact statements will be prepared on the effects of any Government measures but only if the responsible Ministers request them? Has the Treasurer had an environmental impact statement prepared on air pollution and other sequelae of the imposition of tax on liquefied gas? If not, will he have such a statement prepared and have its contents made public? If he will not do so, why not?

Mr SNEDDEN - The decision to impose excise on liquid petroleum gas was a matter which was given the greatest consideration by the Government before it was taken. As I said in the Budget Speech, on the advice that was available to me from Government sources, the emission control standards which were being developed would mean that there would be no greater pollution content in the atmosphere in 4 years, if my recollection is correct. That statement was made in the Budget Speech. There was this examination before. I am not quite sure of the circumstances in which my colleague, the Minister for the Environment, Aborigines and the Arts, uses the term 'impact statement'. I prefer to talk to him about it and to find out what the definition really means. What I can say to the honourable gentleman is that the impact of pollution on the environment by this measure was most carefully weighed against the other side of the equation; that was the potential for the erosion in very great dimensions of the capacity of the Commonwealth, by means of tax revenue, to discharge the very many expenditure requirements upon the Commonwealth.

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