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Thursday, 3 May 1973
Page: 1663

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Dr Jenkins (SCULLIN, VICTORIA) - Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted. (The document read as follows) -


(Statement by the Minister for Transport and

Minister for Civil Aviation, the Honourable C. K. Jones, M.P.)

The Australian Minister for Transport, Mr C. K. Jones said today it was apparent that the flow of orders for Australian shipyards was on the upswing as a result of the positive steps taken by the present Government to revive the industry.

This week, an Australian shipowner advised me he was planning to call tenders for 2 ships of about 30,000-40,000 tons in the very near future', Mr Jones said. 'I am not at liberty to divulge the name of the shipowner at this stage - but this advice is clear evidence that the Australian Government's shipbuilding policies are starting to have the desired effect.'

Mr Jonespointed out that since coming to office, the Australian Governent had:

Instigated a comprehensive review of the industry.

Offered 25 per cent subsidy to Union Steamship to build 2 roll-on/roll-off vessels in Australia for the trans-Tasman trade.

Given an assurance to Evans Deakin Ltd that it would not recapture subsidy on the proposed oil drilling rig for the Santa Fe Co.

Announced tenders would be called shortly for a 70,000-ton replacement for ANL's Tolgra'.

Announced 2 further orders would be placed shortly by ANL:

One as a replacement for 'North Esk'.

The other a further vessel for the Tas- manian trade.

Called tenders for an oceanographic vessel for the Navy.

Announced tenders would be called shortly for a navigational aid vessel for the Department of Transport.

Advised it expected several companies to announce plans to build vessels and oil rigs in Australia.

Permitted the import of three 100,000-ton vessels for the coastal trade on condition that orders for equivalent tonnage were placed with Australian shipyards.

Asked ANL and HHP to get together to design a standard ship for the bulk trades.

Announced a decision to reserve the coastal trade to Australian-built ships.

The Government was also seeking an equitable share of the overseas trades for Australian bottoms.

In these circumstances, I am disturbed at the lack of confidence shown in the future of the industry by certain shipyard managements. There is every reason for optimism but 2 yards have announced their closure', Mr. Jones said. 'One of these is Evans Deakin.

Too often the unions are blamed as the sole reason for a yard's closure. Certainly, the unions have not been blameless and must accept their share of the responsibility. However, in these situations management must also accept its share of the responsibility, too.

The Australian Government has gone a long way towards assisting Evans Deakin', Mr Jones said. "We have provided the guarantees requested by that company for the Santa Fe rig. We have announced various proposals for new orders. We are undertaking a comprehensive review of the industry to develop positive policies.

These are the facts. Evans Deakin should stop looking back into the past and look to the future', Mr Jones said. "There is a new Australian Government taking positive steps to get the industry moving. The Company should recognise this and gel out into the market place and compete for the orders that are becoming available.

Their present stance is not improving their commercial image. They have work and there are sufficient orders about for them to be assured of continuity of work. They should gel on with the job', Mr Jones said.

Mr CHARLES JONES - I want to refer now to the Brisbane Airport. For 23 years, when honourable members opposite were in government, Brisbane has done without a first class airport. On Tuesday of this week Cabinet approved the allocation of $6.5m to acquire all of the land necessary to build the Eagle Farm Airport. It also approved sufficient money being made available to acquire the northern site which will be required somewhere about the end of the century. It will be there when it is needed. This is different from the bungle that exists in Sydney today as a result of 23 years of Liberal government. Because this Government had a lot of other things of greater importance to consider, such as prices and the economy of this country, the matter was referred back to the urban and regional development sub-committee of Cabinet to be brought on again.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member's time has expired.

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