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Tuesday, 18 March 1980
Page: 711

Senator MacGIBBON (QUEENSLAND) -Is the Minister for Special Trade Representations aware of reports by Mr Ian Russell, a well-known Queensland businessman, President of the Queensland Confederation of Industry and leader of a recent trade mission to South East Asia, that Australia 's trading credibility is being damaged by reports of industrial strikes in Australia? Will the Minister indicate whether the Government has received adverse reports from overseas customers in the wake of the crippling strike by storemen and packers in the wool industry?

Senator SCOTT (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Resources) - I am interested in the honourable senator's question. It is perfectly normal that industrial unrest in Australia or, indeed, in any other country must be of concern to nations with which we have close trading and commercial contact. Of course, the nations of South East Asia are no exception. They would express concern at anything that might jeopardise the reliability of Australia as a supplier, just as Australia would express a similar concern if supplies that were imperative to it were jeopardised from whatever cause. I note the comments of the honourable senator. I am sure that the Government and the Australian people in general are well aware of the problems that confront us as a supplier to significant nations to the north and elsewhere around the world.

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