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Tuesday, 22 October 1974
Page: 1843

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) (Leader of the Australian Country Party in the Senate) - The Senate is debating a Bill which seeks to amend the Book Bounty Act to implement a recommendation contained in the Tariff Board Report of 21 September 1973. The report recommends that the bounty be increased from 25 per cent, which was an interim measure of assistance pending the Board's report, to331/3 per cent. The Opposition does not oppose the Bill. When the bounty was introduced by the Liberal-Country Party Government the book printing industry in Australia was in a pretty sorry state. There was little doubt that Australian authors would have been forced to engage overseas printers if the

Government had not come to the aid of the industry. I draw the attention of the AttorneyGeneral (Senator Murphy) to a couple of points. Concern has been expressed in some quarters about the character of some books which attract the bounty.

When this Book Bounty Bill was debated in another place the honourable member for Fisher (Mr Adermann) raised this point. At this time I am not pursuing this concern further but I point out to the Minister that the Government paid out almost $3m in 1972-73 in the form of book bounties. Yet a record of the book titles is not required to be kept. I believe that this ought to be done. I am fully aware that there are difficulties in determining that one book should attract a bounty and another book should not but I believe that any government which grants a book bounty and then does not require to be told the titles lays itself open to charge of slipshod administration. I shall not pursue that argument further. Perhaps the Minister will give the reasons for this. Otherwise I suggest that we put the motion that the Bill be read a second time.

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