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Wednesday, 24 October 1973
Page: 2661

Mr Chipp asked the Minister for Secondary Industry, upon notice:

(1)   On what date was an industry panel appointed to observe the needs of the local footwear industry.

(2)   In what way will he act on the advice of this panel and similar panels he has established for other industries.

(3)   Will he give an assurance that no Government action will be taken on adjusting tariff protection for such industries without the question being referred either to the Tariff Board or the Special Advisory Authority.

Mr Enderby - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The formation of the Footwear Industry Advisory Panel was announced on 8 May 1973.

(2)   The Industry Panels will keep the Government informed of the situation in the relevant industries, and of any problems which are foreseen in their longer-term development on an economically sound and competitive basis. The Panels will also provide an additional means of communication of the Government's economic and social policies to firms, trade unions and consumer interests affected. The action which might be taken by the Government on the advice of the Panels cannot be specified in advance, depending as it must on the nature of the advice, and on the particular circumstances in the industry concerned.

(3)   It is the policy of this Government that the tariff protection to be accorded particular industries will be decided after public inquiry and report by an independent statutory body. This policy was fully explained by the Prime Minister in his Second Reading Speech on 27 September 1973, when introducing a Bill to establish an Industries Assistance Commission. Until the Commission is formally established, the

Tariff Board and the Special Advisory Authority will continue to perform their existing functions in the Australian system of tariff protection.

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