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Wednesday, 15 September 1971
Page: 1315

Mr WHITLAM - I address a question to the Minister for the Environment, Aborigines and the Arts and the MinisterinCharge of Tourist Activities. I ask about a question I put on notice last October for the former Prime Minister and then had to re-direct in March to the Vice-President of the Executive Council, and then a month ago to the Minister himself. I ask: When is it hoped to appoint a director of the Australian National Gallery which the former Prime Minister said in May last year would be done shortly? I also ask: What progress has been made in reviewing the Australian policy of taxing bequests, gifts and imports of works of art which makes it more difficult and discouraging for Australians than it is for Britons, Americans or most other people to collect, exhibit and donate works of art?

Mr HOWSON (CASEY, VICTORIA) (Minister for Environment, Aborigines and the Arts) - I am well aware of the question that has been on notice since, I think, 20th October last year. The discussions on this matter are still taking place. I am sorry that I am not yet in a position to inform the honourable member of the results of those discussions but I am trying to accelerate the matter and I hope within a reasonably short time to be able to give him the information he requires. The question of taxation is usually a matter for the Treasurer and not for the Minister for the Environment, Aborigines and the Arts.

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