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Wednesday, 4 June 1969

Senator ANDERSON - On Thursday, 17th April 1969, Senator Drake-Brockman asked me a question about the costs of spare parts for farm machinery. I have received advice from the Departments of the Treasury and Trade and Industry and would like to add to the reply I made in the Senate.

I have no direct information on the prices quoted by the honourable senator but presumably the differences referred to reflect the distribution and other costs involved in making products manufactured in or imported into metropolitan areas available to consumers in rural areas. The amounts of these costs would tend to vary, of course, with such factors as distances involved, methods of transport employed and the number of links in the distribution chain.

As the honourable senator has stated in his question, the Commonwealth has taken action in various ways to assist primary producers but this does not extend to the control of costs of distribution and transport. Distribution and transport costs have, of course, the same relative incidence on both local manufacture and imported goods.

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