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Tuesday, 7 December 2004
Page: 21

Senator NETTLE (1:52 PM) —I seek to amend the motion so that the bills can be taken separately. Then we can deal with the issue of the Strategic Investment Program for the TCF industry separately from the issue of reducing tariffs which, in the Customs tariff amendment bill, are not sought to be put in place until 2010. A series of other tariff reduction cuts are already in place and will commence on 1 January 2005. There is no proposal in this legislation or anywhere else for there to be any study or analysis of the consequences of the existing tariff cut reductions that come in on 1 January 2005. So to deal with both the issue of a structural adjustment program to compensate people for the tariff reduction cuts that come into effect in 2005 at the same time as trying to deal with tariff reduction cuts coming into play in 2010 is premature. In order for there to be analysis and report reflection by the parliament on the consequences of the existing tariff cut reductions that come into effect on 1 January, I seek to amend the minister's motion so the two bills can be dealt with separately.

I note that the Labor senators who were on the Economics Legislation Committee which considered this piece of legislation in August this year put forward as a recommendation that these two issues be dealt with separately—both the structural adjustment program for the industry, which relates to the tariffs coming into effect on 1 January, and then the subsequent issue of whether or not there should be further tariff reductions coming into play in 2010. It is a view that has been put forward as a recommendation by the Labor senators who were involved in that committee. It is also a view that was put forward to that committee by the Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia in their submission and hearing before the inquiry in August this year. On that basis and in order for us to be able to evaluate what are the consequences of the tariff reductions coming into play in January, I request that the minister's motion be divided so that the two bills are dealt with separately.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Bolkus)—We will divide the question. The question is that these bills be taken together.

Question agreed to.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT —The question now is that these bills may proceed without formalities and be now read a first time.

Question agreed to.

Bills read a first time.