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Thursday, 1 June 1972
Page: 2428

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - 1 ask the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Industry: Did the Prime

Minister as long ago as October of last year announce that the Government would be 1 referring to the Tariff Board for consideration the question of the need for protection of the Australian film and television industries? As 8 months have passed since that statement was made and as the Australian film and television industries are facing tremendous difficulties in competing with overseas interests, will the Government either request the Tariff Board to commence a hearing as a matter of urgency or refer the matter to the Special Advisory Authority for temporary relief pending the outcome of the Tariff Board hearing?

Senator COTTON - Honourable senators know that the Tariff Board has a tremendous volume of work. They will also be aware from previous announcements that we are taking steps to expand the Tariff Board. Indeed, on the notice paper today is a Bill that deals with the expansion of the Tariff Board. The delay of 8 months referred to by the honourable senator is something I would expect in the circumstances. If there is a case for the Special Advisory Authority to deal with the matter rather than the Tariff Board, that is not only a decision for the Government to make but also for the industry to request. If the honourable senator will inform me when the industry so requests assistance, I will transmit the request to the responsible Minister.

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