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Tuesday, 14 October 1975
Page: 2036

Mr McKenzie (Diamond Valley) -Is the Minister for Science and Consumer Affairs aware of continued concern expressed by individuals and organisations about metric conversion? Since the program of metric conversion began, has a reassessment of the program been made particularly with respect to difficulties experienced in such industries as building and shoe manufacture? If a reassessment of the program has not been made, would the Minister be prepared to call for a report on this matter?

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) -Metric conversion has been going on now for a couple of years. It has not been pushed beyond the pace which the public can accept. It is true that there are still pockets of resistance to it but, generally speaking, metric conversion has been accepted and is now being understood by more and more people. The honourable member referred to metric conversion in relation to the building industry. Those people in the building industry who have worked with both systems now generally accept that the metric system is a more accurate system of drawing plans and of working to plans than the old system. It is true that people of older generations will find it difficult to transfer to the metric system or to accommodate themselves to it. I can recall when older people thought that they would never be able to understand decimal currency. They have done so, and now that it is here they accept it as being a much simpler system of currency than the sterling system. I have no doubt that the younger generations will very quickly come to understand and accept metric conversion. At the same time I can tell the honourable gentleman that the Metric Conversion Board, with which I met in Adelaide on Friday, has told me that it is receiving tremendous support from the public Metric conversion is being accepted. The Board is being very sensible about the rate at which it pushes metric conversion and it intends to continue to keep the rate at a level that the public can understand, accept and accommodate.

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