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Thursday, 13 August 2009
Page: 4970


Senator Bob Brown asked the Minister representing the Minister for Trade, upon notice, on 1 July 2009:

With reference to the advice provided by Senator Carr to the Senate on 25 June 2009 (Senate Hansard, p. 60) concerning inquiries to Austrade from potential investors in the Gunns Limited Bell Bay pulp mill:

(1)   Which two companies have made inquiries to Austrade.

(2)   In which countries are these companies based.


Senator Carr (Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research) —The Minister for Trade has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

All Austrade work with potential foreign investors is done on a Commercial in Confidence basis. Disclosure of Commercial in Confidence material would unreasonably affect and undermine Austrade’s work in promoting Australia as a destination to do business and attract new productive foreign investment. In addition, section 94 of the Australian Trade Commission Act 1985 imposes criminal penalties for the disclosure to third parties of information acquired in the course of Austrade’s trade facilitation work.

As a consequence, I am not able to elaborate further upon the answers provided to Senator Brown on 25 June 2009. I can however advise that of the two companies that made enquiries to Austrade, to the best of its knowledge, one company did not proceed to discussions with Gunns due to the pulp mill not fitting in with their overall international expansion strategy, and the second company did not return emails after the initial informal enquiry was received.