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Tuesday, 3 April 1973
Page: 1033

Mr Lynch asked the Minister for Labour, upon notice:

(1)   Can he say whether there are any labour shortages.

(2)   If so, what is the extent of the labour shortage in (a) each State and (b) each region of each State in respect of (i) skilled, (ii) unskilled and (iii) semiskilled persons.

(3)   What action (a) has he taken and (b) does he intend to take to rectify each incidence of labour shortage.

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The honourable member, having preceded me in the Ministry, should be aware that my Department's published Monthly Reviews of the Employment Situation provide detailed information on the numbers of registered unemployed and vacancies in each State and in each non-metropolitan district office. This information is also provided in respect of broad occupational categories for each State. The published data throw considerable light on the extent of labour shortages or surpluses in particular States and areas. I accept, however, that additional analysis of CES information is required for detailed manpower and regional policies 2 areas which were neglected by the previous Government. As the honourable member knows, my Department has set up an advisory committee to examine, inter alia, the statistical requirements for a comprehensive manpower policy so that Government action could be taken where necessary to offset a situation of labour shortage or surplus in particular areas and occupations.

Australia,United Kingdom Trade (Question No. 1.57)

Mr Garland asked the Minister for Overseas

Trade, upon notice:

(1)   Have estimates been made of the drop in trade between the United Kingdom and Australia as a result of the United Kingdom Government placing import levies on a range of Australian products.

(2)   What is the total value of import levies placed on Australian products by the United Kingdom Government to date.

(3)   What are the matching levies that have been placed by the Australian Government on United Kingdom imports to offset the unilateral action of the United Kingdom Government.

DrJ. F. Cairns - The following is provided in answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   The import levy arrangements operated by the British Government in recent years on eggs and egg products, cereals, beef and veal, poultry meat and milk products, other than butter or cheese, were terminated on 31st January 1973. These arrangements provided for the imposition of levies on imports into Britain under certain conditions. In the case of Australia, levies, insofar as I am aware, were applied only to some cereals. Fluctuations in British imports of cereal products could be caused by a variety of factors and it is not possible to isolate the effect of the levies.

As from 1st February 1973 Britain adopted the European Economic Community's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which provides for the application of variable general levies to most agricultural commodities in certain circumstances. No estimate has been made of the drop in trade between Britain and Australia which might occur as a result of the imposition of these levies which will be a consequence of the application of the CAP. Table 1 shows the value of principal Australian exports to Britain in 1971-72 liable to variable import levies.

(2)   Information on the total value of import levies placed on Australian products under the British levy arrangements has not been published by British authorities in respect of imports either before or after the adoption of the CAP.

(3)   It is my understanding that the previous Australian Government held consultations with the British Government concerning the implications of the preCAP levy schemes for Australian trade from the time that they were initially proposed and that no compensating action was taken.

In respect of Britain's adoption of the EEC's CAP, the EEC has recognised that problems could arise for exports to Britain of agricultural commodities from third countries, including Australia, in Protocol No. 16 to the Treaty of Accession, the 'Safeguards Clause', which provides for steps to deal with such problems. Australia has used the 'Safeguards Clause' as a basis for a series of detailed discussions with Britain and other EEC Members. In these discussions Australia has been seeking to identify the nature of the problems which might arise for particular commodities and to suggest possible solutions. The next round of discussions is programmed to take place in about May this year.


(a)   EEC levies on frozen beef and veal have not applied since January 1972.

(b)   In the case of sugar, Britain will maintain her commitments under the Commonwealth Sugar Agreement until 28 February 1975.

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