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Wednesday, 13 September 1972
Page: 1266

Mr LLOYD (MURRAY, VICTORIA) - I direct my question to the Minister for Trade and Industry. In the interests of decentralisation of industry, will the Commonwealth consider taking similar action to that taken by the Victorian Government which proposes to offer payroll tax rebates to industry going to country areas?

Mr ANTHONY (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Deputy Prime Minister) - I have heard many comments from different sections of the community suggesting that the Commonwealth should have taxation laws to assist industry to go to country areas; in other words, in the cause of decentralisation. However, as I am sure the honourable member would know, under the Commonwealth Constitution we cannot discriminate in the application of taxation laws between States or pans thereof. I did read in the Press today, with a great deal of interest, that the Victorian Government has decided to introduce a scheme of giving payroll tax rebates for industries that move to country areas. I think it is a most commendable idea and I congratulate that Government for being the first to introduce it. Only in the last year have State governments been able to move in this area, the Commonwealth having handed this taxing power back to the States which can use it however they wish. We in the Commonwealth have used payroll tax as a means of increasing exports. We have used it as an incentive device to help develop overseas markets and to encourage the development of export industry. This scheme has been operating for a number of years and I think it has achieved remarkable results in encouraging manufacturing and primary processing industries to get into the business. If the same result can be achieved at the State level, then I think it is a really encouraging step in helping effective decentralisation.

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