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Thursday, 17 November 1983
Page: 2874

Mr YOUNG —My question is directed to the Minister for Trade. I ask him a question regarding his--

Mr Sinclair —When is the report coming along?

Mr YOUNG —It will not be very long. It will be better than the one that the right honourable member got. He wears striped suits so he will not have to change when the authorities get him.

Mr ACTING SPEAKER —The honourable member for Port Adelaide will ask his question .

Mr YOUNG —My question refers to the recent visit by the Minister for Trade to the Port of Adelaide. Was he impressed with the port facilities and skills involved in the industries surrounding Port Adelaide? Will he impress upon his ministerial colleagues the great benefits that could flow to this nation if those skills were fully utilised in great national projects such as the building of the submarines that we require?

Mr LIONEL BOWEN —I paid a visit to Adelaide recently in the course of my responsibilities in the area of trade. I congratulate the honourable member for arranging some aspects of the visit, which included meeting the port authorities of Port Adelaide and the Minister of Marine, Mr Abbott, as well as a number of exporters in the city of Adelaide. The question of trade is directly related to ports. As honourable members will know, one of the problems of the Department of Trade is to try to accelerate people's interest in the opportunities for export. I see the facilities at Port Adelaide as being first class. The people who have the use of those facilities have a great deal of interest in developing export potential. An honourable member opposite yawns. I would not think it was as boring as that. I met some of the very progressive people engaged in structural engineering, particularly those engaged in the construction of the Bass Strait off-shore platforms. They have developed special techniques in the fabrication of metal. In that concept I would say that there is every opportunity to develop the skills and talents of Australia, particularly those in Port Adelaide as exhibited by Mr White, an engineer there. I am anxious to impress upon not only my colleagues in the Ministry but also those in the Caucus the advantage of looking at the talents of Australians, not only in relation to metal and metal fabrication but also in the area of computer technology for which Professor Mudge of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation has developed world class facilities which I think would also have potential for the construction of submarines.

All in all, it was a most successful visit. The city of Adelaide is well catered for by its port authority and facilities, not to mention the honourable member for Port Adelaide, who is also able to promote its cause. On the question of trade, it is important not only that the focal point of trade be Canberra, but also that we extend our branch organisation into all the capital cities and all the provincial centres. My Department is anxious to do that to guarantee that trade can continue to flourish. I look forward to every consideration being given to the case that the honourable member has raised with me.