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Tuesday, 19 August 1980
Page: 428

Dr Everingham asked the Minister representing the Minister for National Development and Energy, upon notice, on 22 April 1980:

(   1 ) Is one object of the Zeidler inquiry into electricity and the sharing of power resources in south-east Australia, announced by the Prime Minister on 7 April 1 980, to ensure that south-eastern States reduce moves to underbid each other to produce aluminium and other high energy content products for export below world parity prices.

(2)   Is he able to state whether Queensland is committed to supply the largest aluminium smelter in Australia with cheap electricity.

(3)   Will the proprietors of this smelter enjoy (a) pay-roll tax exemption, (b) investment allowances, (c) adjusted local authority rates and State land valuations and (d) other beneficial arrangements.

(4)   Have any steps been taken to (a) include Queensland in the Zeidler inquiry and (b) ensure that (i) Queenslanders are not committed to meeting an unfair proportion of peak and off-peak costs for electricity used for other export and domestic industries and private homes and (ii) the infrastructure costs, including costs of relocation of coal and bauxite mining communities when their deposits finally run out or become uneconomic, are met by the industry.

(5)   Will the Government set up a national authority to plan energy use in Australia.

Mr Anthony -The Minister for National Development and Energy has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   The supply of electricity by State Authorities to energy intensive industries will be considered by the Inquiry into Electricity Generation and the Sharing of Power Resources in South-East Australia chaired by Sir David Zeidler only within the scope of the terms of reference which were announced by the Prime Minister on 7 April 1 980.

(2)   Arrangements to supply electricity to major users in Queensland are the responsibility of the State Government and its electrical undertakings.

(3)   (a) Decisions on any pay-roll tax exemption are for the State Government, (b) Proprietors of any new smelter would receive the benefits of such allowances as Commonwealth taxation legislation provides, (c) This is the responsibility of the State Government and/or Local Government authorities, (d) No, other than those usual for a development of this type.

(4)   (a) To date, no formal request to join the Inquiry has been made to, or received from, the Queensland Government. (b)See(2).

(5)   The responsibility for energy policy lies with the Minister for National Development and Energy and he is advised by his Department. He is also advised by national committeesthe National Energy Advisory Committee (NEAC), the National Energy Research, Development and Demonstration Council (NERDDC) and the National Petroleum Advisory Committee (NPAC). Commonwealth/State co-operation is achieved through the Australian Minerals and Energy Council (AMEC).

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