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Tuesday, 26 September 1972
Page: 1865

Mr O'KEEFE (PATERSON, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I ask the Minister for Trade and Industry whether recent tariff action taken by the Government has improved the economic and unemployment situation in the Australian textile industry. Did the Tariff Board further inquire into the textile tariffs early this year? Can the Minister inform the House of the present position in the textile industry?

Mr ANTHONY (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Deputy Prime Minister) - There has been a Tariff Board inquiry into certain sections of the textile and clothing industries and the Government has made an announcement that it will delay implementation of the recommendations until it can find out whether it is possible to negotiate voluntary restraints with certain countries that have been putting pressure on our local industry because of the importation of their goods. The Government undertook negotiations with these countries but found that it was not possible to come to a totally satisfactory situation with all the countries involved. So an announcement was made some 2 weeks ago that tariff quotas would now be applied to these goods. The reaction that I have had already from the Australian industry has been a very satisfactory one. It greatly appreciates this new approach to providing a degree of protection to Australian industry and I have been told that one of the very large firms has now deferred or cancelled plans to put off employees that it was considering before I made the annoucement

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