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Thursday, 25 August 1994
Page: 353

Senator HILL (Leader of the Opposition) (12.34 p.m.) —The opposition will be supporting this bill. In our view, the bill effects a number of useful changes. It will limit the status of approved joint ventures and consortia to a period of three years with a discretion for Austrade to extend the approval for subsequent three-year periods, but limit the number of grants to those bodies to a maximum of five. It will tie export grants more closely to the actual time spent on promotional activity than was previously the case. It will extend the period required by Austrade to make relevant enquiries for the purpose of deciding whether to grant approved status to a joint venture, consortium or trading houses from 30 days to 60 days.

  It will strengthen Austrade's powers to reconsider, vary or cancel the approved status of these bodies, having regard to the granting of export grants. It will provide a framework for the establishment of a system of accreditation of consultants engaged in the preparation of EMDG applications on behalf of business. As I said, the opposition believes that these changes are worthwhile and they therefore have our support.