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Thursday, 20 October 1983
Page: 2026


Mr DUFFY (Minister for Communications)(3.38) —I move:

Customs Tariff Proposals No. 15 (1983).

The Customs Tariff Proposals I have just tabled relate to proposed alterations to the Customs Tariff Act 1982. The proposals contain changes resulting from the Government's decision on recommendations made in the Temporary Assistance Authority's report on certain air-conditioning machines. The Government has decided that the bounty assistance of $1.5m that applied in 1982-83 will continue for 1983-84. A Bill to give effect to this decision will be introduced at a later date. In addition to continuing bounty assistance, as recommended by the Temporary Assistance Authority, the Government has decided to impose tariff quotas on certain refrigerated room air-conditioners. The tariff quotas will apply until 30 June 1984, with imports of air-conditioners outside of quota being subject to an additional temporary duty of 150 per cent. In general terms, the tariff quota to apply for 1983-84 will be 55 per cent of the imports by volume for 1982-83 at the existing rates of duty. The assistance being provided is subject to a commitment by the local manufacturer to complete the necessary investment plans to enhance its future competitiveness and viability. In addition, it is being provided on the firm understanding that the temporary measure will not be extended beyond 30 June 1984.

Customs Tariff Proposals No. 15 also contains two other changes. The first change rewords sub-item 59.12.2 to set out its scope more precisely. The second change inserts specific references in items 84.07 and 84.08 for cylinders and actuators for the mechanical operation of control valves. These references are necessary to maintain levels of assistance which have applied in items 84.59 and 84.65. The new provisions are necessary to keep the Australian Customs tariff in line with the Customs Co-operation Council nomenclature. Customs Tariff Proposals No. 15 (1983) will operate on and from tomorrow. A detailed summary of alterations contained in the Proposals has been prepared and is being circulated for the information of honourable members. I commend the proposals to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Braithwaite) adjourned.