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Wednesday, 12 September 1984
Page: 889

Senator FOREMAN —My question, which is addressed to the Minister representing the Treasurer, concerns the entry of foreign banks into Australia. Is the Minister aware of the South Australian proposal for enforced decentralisation of foreign banks? Is he also aware that South Australia could offer a financial infrastructure comparable to that of the traditional financial centres, with the added cost benefit of lower property values? Will consideration be given to the headquartering of some of these banks in other than the eastern States?

Senator WALSH —I am advised by the Treasurer on the question of a possible bank being located in South Australia that the Government is continuing to examine participation subsequent to the announcement the other day, including participation by foreign banks. The Government is, of course aware of the capabilities that South Australia has as a financial centre and, I am sure, so are those interested in establishing new banks in Australia. I think before any definitive answer can be given to Senator Foreman's question, obviously the Government will have to wait until the applications have been received-I think from memory they must be in by 12 December this year-and the advantages not only to South Australia but also to the country generally of locating one of those banks in Adelaide are considered, providing that a satisfactory consortium can be put together to make such an application.