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Tuesday, 18 August 1992
Page: 147

(Question No. 2040)

Senator Chapman asked the Minister representing the Minister for Finance, upon notice, on 9 June 1992:

  (1) What proportion, if any, of shares in the proposed privatisation of Qantas and Australian Airlines will be reserved for employees of the airlines to purchase.

  (2) If such provision is being made, will any concessions or incentives be given to assist employees in the purchase of such shares; if not, why not.

Senator Button —The Minister for Finance has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  The Government is firmly committed to the introduction of an appropriate employee share ownership scheme as part of the current process to sell equity in Qantas Airways Limited, following its acquisition of Australian Airlines Limited.

  At this stage, the Government does not have any fixed views on the precise shape of the employee share ownership scheme, including the proportion of the total shares issued to be held by employees and any associated concessions or incentives that might be offered to employees to encourage their participation in such a scheme.

  The timing of introduction and the precise shape of the employee share ownership scheme for Qantas will depend, in part, on the outcome of negotiations with the successful purchaser(s) of equity in Qantas during the current "trade sale" process, which are expected to occur later this year.