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Thursday, 15 November 1973
Page: 1830

Senator DURACK (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Treasurer. I refer to an announcement which was made by the Treasurer in the House of Representatives at question time this morning that the Government intends to alter its Budget proposals in relation to tax concessions on gold and selected minerals so far as they affect companies but not dividends. I refer to an answer which I received in this Senate on Tuesday from the Treasurer in which he informed me that the Government had decided to proceed with the proposals announced in the Budget in relation to the gold mining industry. I now ask the Minister: Why has the Government changed the decision within 24 hours? Does this mean that at any time other Budget proposals may also be changed within 24 hours? How can this Parliament have any confidence in this Government's economic management in view of the cavalier way it is proceeding with its Budget proposals?

Senator WILLESEE -As a Western Australian and as Senator Durack is from the same State I am amazed that he is taking umbrage at the fact that the gold mining industry will get some benefits which it was not going to get at the time of the Budget. I thought the honourable senator would have welcomed that tremendously. I do not know what answer he received from the Treasurer. It appears to me that the Premier of Western Australia has been so persuasive as to get Mr Crean to change his mind on this matter. For that the Treasurer should not be condemned.

Senator Withers - Come on, come on.

Senator WILLESEE - Here we are in a situation where Western Australians are getting something, and who is condemning them? Two Liberal Party senators from Western Australia.

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