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Wednesday, 21 September 1983
Page: 1052

Mr JOHN BROWN (Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism, Minister for Administrative Services and Minister Assisting the Minister for Industry and Commerce)(11.10) —I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The main purpose of this Bill is to amend the Industries Assistance Commission Act 1973 in order to suspend the requirement in certain circumstances for a report by the Industries Assistance Commission before temporary assistance granted to an industry may be extended. Under present arrangements, the Minister may grant temporary assistance to an industry for a period of up to one year after he has received a report from the Temporary Assistance Authority. This assistance can be extended by the Minister for a period of 12 months after he has received a further report from the Temporary Assistance Authority. Temporary assistance cannot, however, be extended by him beyond a period of two years without a report by the Industries Assistance Commission.

The practical effect of the amendments proposed by this Bill will be that temporary assistance will be able to be extended to industries receiving temporary assistance during the 12 month period commencing on 1 July 1983 for a total of three years without the need for a report from the Industries Assistance Commission. However, a report from the Temporary Assistance Authority will still be required annually by the Minister and extension of assistance beyond three years will also require a prior report from the Industries Assistance Commission.

This Bill is proposed as a consequence of the Government's recognition that industry is facing severe problems in the present difficult economic conditions. The Bill complements other administrative actions taken by the Government to speed up and simplify, as far as possible, the procedures for consideration of industry requests for temporary assistance. The extension of the temporary assistance provision as proposed by the Bill will not involve any additional advisory machinery. Accordingly, the legislation has no direct financial implications.

The opportunity has been taken to incorporate in the Bill some administrative amendments including those relating to suspension and removal from office, acting appointments and disclosure of interests. The changes bring the legislation into line with standard practice and with the recommendations of the report of the Committee of Inquiry concerning Public Duty and Private Interest. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Steele Hall) adjourned.