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Thursday, 5 December 1974
Page: 4725


Mr Lynch asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

What are the national interest criteria which have been adopted by the Foreign Take-overs Branch of his Department in the administration of the Companies ( Foreign Takeovers) Act.


Mr Crean - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The Government has continued to apply the criteria indicated by the former Prime Minister in the course of the statement he made to the House on 26 September 1972 on overseas investment in Australia. The statement defined those criteria as follows: 'The first criterion to be applied in judging whether a proposed foreign takeover would be against the national interest will be: Whether, against the background of existing circumstances in the industry concerned, the takeover would lead, either directly or indirectly, to net economic benefits in relation to such matters as production, prices, quality and range of products and services, and efficiency and technological change which would be sufficient to justify the increased degree of foreign control of the particular industry that would result from the takeover.

If the proposed takeover is judged to be not against the national interest on this basis, the following additional criteria will also be taken into account: Whether, after the takeover, the firm concerned could be expected to follow practices consistent with Australia's interest in matters such as exports, imports, local processing materials produced, research and development and industrial relations, including employee protection; and whether the takeover would have adverse consequences in terms of the Government's objective for defence, environmental protection or regional development.

In making judgments as to whether particular foreign takeovers would be against the national interest on any of the foregoing grounds, due weight will be given to: The extent of Australian participation in ownership and management that would remain after the takeover; and the interests of shareholders of the company subject to the takeover and the attitudes of its board of directors. '







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