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Thursday, 8 March 1973
Page: 359

Mr BENNETT (SWAN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - Is the Minister for Overseas Trade and Minister for Secondary Industry aware that cut rate motor vehicle parts sold in Australia but manufactured overseas are in the main suitable only for popular model vehicles manufactured in Australia and not suitable for vehicles manufactured in and imported from the countries which manufacture the cut rate parts which are sent to Australia? Will the Minister investigate the position to ensure protection for Australian workers employed in the Australian parts industry and that the Australian public is not fleeced by the pricing of parts for imported vehicles?

Dr J F CAIRNS (LALOR, VICTORIA) (Minister for Overseas Trade) - Ohe of the main concerns of the Government in its consideration of the motor vehicle industry in Australia is naturally to ensure that employment of Austraiian workers in each of the many aspects of this industry is adequately safeguarded, lt is true that parts known as cut rate parts are imported into Australia and that those parts are used fairly widely in the assembly of motor cars except those that are in the high content plan. I am not sure of the proportion of parts that goes in one direction or another and I will have that investigated. However, I would expect that the imported parts would not be especially suitable for cars assembled or produced in Australia. 1 would think that those parts would be used in imported cars unless such cars were imported in a very highly made up form. I think that would be the limitation there. That will be investigated. I assure the honourable member that the first consideration of the Government is to protect employment in Australia and unless it can see a feasible alternative which is readily acceptable to those concerned it will not permit pressures on the industry that would cause unnecessary unemployment.

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