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Tuesday, 4 September 1984
Page: 390

Senator FOREMAN —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Aviation. It concerns tenders which have been called for airport fire vehicles for Australian airports. Will the Minister advise whether tenders are still being considered or whether they have been cancelled? If they have been cancelled, will new tenders be called? Will the Minister give an assurance that the tenders will not be let outside Australia, as was the case with the Ford Transit vans for Australia Post? Will he outline the policy initiatives of the Australian industry participation program regarding the participation by Australian manufacturing industry in the supply of goods to the Commonwealth?

Senator GIETZELT —The Government has on several occasions made pronouncements and statements, issued by both the Minister for Administrative Services and the Minister for Industry and Commerce, detailing Government policies in respect of the purchase of goods for the Australian Government. We are on the public record as saying that in the supply of goods to Government departments preference will be given to Australian goods. On the specific matter raised by Senator Foreman, tenders for the fire vehicles closed on 4 April 1984. Six tenders were received for the supply of a total of 12 vehicle types. Contrary to what has been expressed, the tenders have not been cancelled. The six tenders received were submitted by Australian firms, although all involved significant overseas content such as chassis, pumps, et cetera. One tender involved body building and assembly in New Zealand but under the closer economic relations agreement with that country it will be considered as Australian content. The remaining five tenders involved assembly in Australia, with the Australian content averaging between 40 and 70 per cent. In the Australian industry participation program which was announced by the Minister for Industry and Commerce we seek to increase the level of participation by Australian manufacturing industry in the supply of goods to Australian Government departments, including the departments of Aviation and Administrative Services. So I think I can assure Senator Foreman that the interests of Australian manufacturing are being well protected by the Government's policies.