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Tuesday, 26 February 1985
Page: 182


Senator JACK EVANS —I direct a question to the Minister representing the Treasurer. In view of the fact that very shortly the Government will be allowing unprecedented ownership and control of Australian banking by foreign bankers and that the Australian financial system will, as a result, be dominated by overseas organisations which will not necessarily be operating with Australia's interests in mind, will the Minister representing the Treasurer give a guarantee that the Australian public will be informed as to the extent of foreign ownership and control of major assets in Australia and will have ongoing access to information about that foreign ownership and control?


Senator WALSH —If what Senator Evans is looking for is an exhaustive catalogue of foreign ownership and control of all Australian industry, I think the answer is that it is not practical to compile such a catalogue. On a somewhat broader level I anticipate that the details of the ownership of new banks, or the degree to which banks are owned by foreign interests, will be disclosed. So far as I know, there is no plan to reduce the degree of either collation or disclosure of information about foreign ownership of industry in general. I will check that out with the Treasurer and see whether he has anything to add.