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Tuesday, 10 May 1994
Page: 555

(Question No. 1193)


Senator Ian Macdonald asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice, on 8 March 1994:

  (1) Has the Minister, the Reserve Bank or any other relevant body received an application from the Queensland Government, the Queensland Treasury or the Queensland Industry Development Corporation (QIDC), for a banking licence for the QIDC or any other Queensland State Government instrumentality or body.

  (2) Given that the QIDC has publicly released its corporatisation charter and that it is a corporatised body wholly owned by the Queensland Government, will such a body require a banking licence or in any other way will it be subject to Reserve Bank supervision.


Senator Cook —The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) Neither the Treasurer nor the Reserve Bank (the relevant body), has received an application from the Queensland Government, the Queensland Treasury or QIDC for a banking authority for QIDC or any other Queensland State Government instrumentality or body. Preliminary discussions have, however, been held between Reserve Bank, Queensland Treasury, and QIDC to explore what would be involved in bringing QIDC under Reserve Bank supervision as recommended by the Queensland Government's Working Party on Corporatisation of QIDC. The Reserve Bank is responsible for the supervision of banks under the Banking Act and the protection of their depositors.

  (2) All corporations, other than State owned institutions, wishing to carry on banking business in Australia, must be authorised under the Banking Act 1959, or receive an exemption under section 11 of that Act. In the context of the Australian Constitution, State-owned institutions which carry on banking business are exempt from the main provisions of the Banking Act 1959. Nevertheless, there is scope for State Governments to subject these institutions to the provisions of the Act, and therefore Reserve Bank supervision, by referring their legislative powers over State Banking to the Commonwealth.