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Minister seeks reform of business input costs.

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The Hon. John Moore, MP

Minister for Industry, Science & Tourism


Friday 24 July 1998



Minister Seeks Reform of Business Input Costs


The Minister for Industry, Science and Tourism, John Moore, today identified lower business input costs as a key area for future reform of industry policy.


Speaking to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Annual Industry Policy Conference the Minister said “that it was a priority that we review the tariff system to ensure that Australian producers are not unnecessarily being levied with charges on their inputs that only make them less competitive”.


“In cases where there is little or no domestic industry to protect, we should be looking to remove tariffs on business inputs”.


The Minister said that the Federal Government had already acted to remove unnecessary tariffs on information technology equipment at a saving to industry of around $80 million over the next 18 months.


Announcing the release of the Government’s response to the Industry Commission Report on Medical and Scientific Industries, the Minister said that the Government had decided to remove tariffs on imports of medical and scientific equipment.


“The existing 5% tariff simply inflates manufacturing costs and reduces the competitiveness of Australian industry,” Mr Moore said. “As a result, I see no justification for retaining tariffs on medical and scientific equipment.”


As a further step to promote reform of business costs, the Minister said that he had asked his Department to undertake a review of all tariffs in the 3%-5% range, to identify areas for future reform. As a first step in that process, he released a list of more than 2,000 tariff lines which he said raise very little revenue and which offer little or no protective benefit to Australian industry.


“These tariffs represent an administrative cost and burden to business,” he said. “My goal is to abolish the tariff on all these items which add to input costs, where there is no competing Australian manufacturer.


“I will consult with industry groups on the contents of this list. If I am satisfied that some, or all of these tariff lines can be removed to the benefit of industry, I will take forward a proposal for the consideration of the Government,” said Mr Moore.


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