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Wednesday, 15 May 1985
Page: 2033

(Question No. 72)

Senator Puplick asked the Minister representing the Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism, upon notice, on 19 March 1985:

(1) Has the Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism noted a report in the Sydney Morning Herald of 20 February 1985 which claims that a large proportion of so-called 'Australian' souvenirs are actually manufactured overseas.

(2) Has the Government awarded a contract to a company called 'Alaok' to operate an Australiana shop at the World Fair in Japan this year.

(3) Does Alaok buy most of its 'Australian' souvenirs from Birociter Pty Ltd which, in the Sydney Morning Herald article referred to in (1) above, admitted importing most of its 'Australian' souvenirs from foreign sources.

(4) Can the Minister give an assurance that 'Australian' souvenirs sold by Alaok at the Japan World Fair will be goods actually made in Australia; if not why was Alaok given this contract over companies who were prepared to sell goods which were designed and made in Australia.

Senator Ryan —The Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Yes.

(2) The operation of an Australian concession at Expo 85 in Tsukuba, Japan, to provide items that are typically Australian has been awarded to a partnership of Consolidated Leisure Holdings Pty Ltd and Alaok Pty Ltd.

(3) I am advised by Consolidated Leisure Holdings Pty Ltd that less than 1 per cent of the initial stock of goods for sale in Tsukuba was purchased from Birociter.

(4) The Agreement entered into with the partnership for the operation of the concession includes provision that articles sold are to be of Australian manufacture. Alaok has manufacturing facilities for Australian made products sold in the souvenir market. I have been informed that a small number of animal dolls which were on display at the Australiana shop were not manufactured in Australia. These have now been withdrawn by the concession operator.

However, I have authorised the sale of some Japanese language publications and a sound tape which were not made in Australia. It is unlikely that the Japanese language publications would be published in Australia. The sound tape records the music played within the Pavilion and would only be of interest to visitors to the Pavilion.