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Thursday, 15 March 1973
Page: 625

Dr J F CAIRNS (Lalor) (Minister for Overseas Trade and Minister for Secondary Industry) - I move:

Tariff Proposals No. 6 (1973)

The terms of the printed proposals are being circulated to honourable members. The Customs Tariff Proposals I have just tabled make alternative provisions for the admission free of customs duty of certain materials and equipment to be used in approved research programs by universities and colleges of advanced education including institutes of technology. This action has been taken in accordance with the Government's policy that there should be a reduction of customs duties on materials and equipment used in research with due consideration being given to the ability of Australian manufacturers to supply such goods. The Government is satisfied that there is a need to step up scientific research in the interest of Australian industries and the nation's culture. Scientific research is a fountainhead of human progress, the source from which technological and social changes spring and it affects all aspects of life.

The new provisions will simplify administrative procedures and, in addition, will have built-in safeguards to protect the legitimate needs of Australian industry. Guidelines under which the scheme will operate are being circulated to honourable members. This is the first time that a development of this sort has been made and the Government believes it will have very useful results in making it easier and less expensive for universities and colleges of advanced education to obtain the materials and equipment which they need to use in research. I commend the proposals.

Debate (on motion by Mr Chipp) adjourned.

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