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Wednesday, 16 April 1980
Page: 1472

Senator WALSH - I ask the Minister for National Development and Energy whether chicken farmers, pig breeders, horticulturists and other primary producers who use liquefied petroleum gas for both domestic and commercial purposes will be entitled to the $80 a tonne subsidy for the whole of their consumption. If not, how does the Government propose to police the amounts used by individuals ibr domestic and commercial purposes?

Senator CARRICK - The first point to make is that the reduction from $252 a tonne to $205 a tonne will apply to all persons who are receiving liquefied petroleum gas through country gas associations or similar bodies. They will get that discount of $47 a tonne. If people are clearly defined as being involved in an industry they will not attract the $80 a tonne subsidy. That subsidy is to go to domestic and non-profit bodies. I have no doubt at all that there will be marginal situations in which people who use LPG predominantly for domestic purposes but who also use a certain amount for industrial purposes will be given the benefit of the doubt.

Senator WALSH - I ask a supplementary question. The Minister appears to have missed the point of my question. It concerned bottled gas sales to chicken farmers, pig breeders and horticulturists who have gas heating or a gas refrigerator in the house and a gas heated brooder, farrowing pen or other equipment. Will they be entitled to the $80 a tonne subsidy for all their consumption? If not, how does the Government propose to monitor the quantities of gas used for domestic purposes and the quantities used for industrial purposes?

Senator CARRICK -As to the first part of my reply, whether primary producers use bottled gas or reticulated gas they will still attract the reduced price-reduced from $252 a tonne to $205 a tonne.

Senator Walsh - That is not the question.

Senator CARRICK - It is significant to the people concerned that they will get a discount in price of $47 a tonne compared with the price paid by people in metropolitan areas. I will get the actual regulations that the Government is proposing to distribute so that there can be no doubt about the significance of the subsidy. As I have said, there are some difficulties regarding grey areas between domestic producers and industrial producers. I will obtain the exact wording of the regulations when they are available and let the honourable senator have it.

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