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Wednesday, 23 April 1980
Page: 1697

Senator WALTERS (TASMANIA) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Transport. I preface it by drawing the Minister's attention to a report in the media today that the Managing Director of Tasmania's biggest private employer of labour, Associated Pulp and Paper Mills Ltd, has accused a minority group of politicians of seeking to abolish the Tasmanian freight equalisation scheme. Is it not a fact that the Government established that scheme to put

Tasmania on an equal footing with other States, in keeping with the stated objective of the Federal Constitution to guarantee equality among the States? Will the Minister give an assurance that the Government has no intention of altering the fundamental objective of our freight equalisation scheme?

Senator CHANEY (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs) - I have not seen the report referred to by the honourable senator in her question, but I can assure her that, as she has indicated to the Senate, there is no substance in fact to the report. The freight equalisation scheme was introduced to put the citizens of Tasmania in the same position as people elsewhere in Australia. There is no proposal before the Government for that subsidy scheme to be altered.

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