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Wednesday, 30 May 1984
Page: 2195

(Question No. 382)

Senator Peter Rae asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice, on 4 October 1983:

(1) Has the Government decided to manufacture and circulate a $1 coin.

(2) Did the time scale specifications and tender supply period preclude Austral Bronze Crane Copper Pty Ltd and other likely Australian metal manufacturers from tendering for the approximately $5m job.

(3) Has the contract been let to an overseas manufacturer.

(4) Will the Government reconsider the decision with a view to letting Australian manufacturers tender and thus provide an opportunity for a significant push in employment, or is the date of supply the essence of the contract; if so, why is time vital.

Senator Walsh —The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Yes. On 8 July 1983 the Treasurer announced that a $1 coin would be introduced into general circulation in the first half of 1984. The coin has been minted in Australia at the Royal Australian Mint and was introduced into circulation on 14 May 1984.

(2) Although opportunities were of course made available, no Australian company submitted a tender for the supply of blanks for the $1 coin. Austral Bronze Crane Copper Pty Ltd (ABCC), a producer of blanks for the Mint, advised that it did not tender for the particular contract in question because of the volume and delivery schedule required and because the metal composition of the coin was outside its production capabilities.

(3) Yes.

(4) No. However, Australian companies will be given every opportunity to pursue follow-up orders for $1 coin blank supplies under normal preferential arrangements to Australian suppliers. Contracts for other coin blanks have recently been awarded to Austral Bronze Crane Copper Pty Ltd.