201 Minute from Lind to Scully

Canberra, 16 August 1982

CER-Phasing Out of Export Incentives

Further to my earlier minute1 on this matter Al Page's report on his discussions with Ted Woodfield is attached.

The issue having been uncorked I believe it important that it be mentioned in you next contact with Harry Clark (10 a.m. Tuesday 17/8)2

  • it is potentially more destructive than forest products.

You might wish to approach it along the following lines:

  • recent indications are that New Zealand is not acknowledging a commitment to phase out incentives from 1985
  • appreciate the value of not blocking off the option of complete removal before 1987
  • but Minister has told Cabinet and Australian industry that the New Zealand Prime Minister agreed to phasing out from 1985
  • we cannot retract from this
  • can play it low key along lines:
    • details of removal to be worked out after New Zealand review announced in Budget
    • make reference to international pressures on New Zealand to remove incentives
  • but need assurance that phasing from 1985 is the backmarker
  • how do we go about getting assurance?
    • should the Minister write to Mr Muldoon?

[NAA: A13131113, 82/2594, vi]