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Tuesday, 15 October 1974
Page: 1709

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral and Minister for Customs and Excise) - I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr President,the purpose of the Bill now before the Senate is to amend the Book Bounty Act 1969-1973 to give effect to a recommendation of the then Tariff Board in its report of 2 1 September 1973 on Products of the Printing Industry. Book bounty to date has been an interim measure of assistance to the industry pending the Board's inquiry. The report recommended that the bounty rate be increased from 25 per cent to 33 W per cent of cost of production of bountiable books to permit the local industry to remain competitive with overseas producers. The new rate will be effective from 17 December 1973, as announced by the Prime Minister (Mr Whitiam) in a Press statement on 18 December last.

The report recommended also that packaging charges and protective covers be included in bountiable costs but that otherwise the production costs on which existing bounty is claimed, should continue to provide the basis of payments at the new rate. Text books as denned in the Bill are excluded from the minimum page criterion governing other bountiable publications which must contain 49 or more predominantly printed or illustrated pages comprising a total area of at least one square metre. The Bill does not seek to implement the report's recommendation that saddle-stapled publications be in future excluded from bounty assistance. A survey of the affected sector of the industry conducted since the Board's inquiry has led the Government to decide that saddle-stapled publications otherwise eligible, should continue to receive assistance in terms of this Bill. The subjective requirements of literary or educational character contained in the present Act are deleted but all other exclusions are retained. These relate to advertising material and publications the printing, publishing or postal transmission of which would be an offence against a law of Australia. I commend the Bill to honourable senators.

Debate (on motion by Senator Withers) adjourned.

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