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Thursday, 9 December 1976
Page: 3702

Mr E G Whitlam (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) am asked the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs, upon notice:

(1)   Have the Industries Assistance Commission or the Prices Justification Tribunal sought information from or held inquiries into any of the companies of which Sir Henry Bland is deputy chairman or a director (Hansard, 20 October 1976, page 2076); if so, which companies.

(2)   If so, on what matters and dates did they seek information or hold inquiries.

Mr Howard -The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Yes; Australian Mining and Smelting Limited, Tubemakers of Australia Limited and Blue Circle Southern Cement Limited.

(2)   The Industries Assistance Commission received evidence from Australian Mining and Smelting Limited at its inquiry into the Petroleum and Mining industries (report dated 28 May 1976). The Company's public evidence was given in Canberra on Tuesday, 8 July 1975.

The Commission has received evidence from Tubemakers of Australia Limited at its current inquiry into the Iron and Steel Industry. Public evidence by this company was given in Sydney on Thursday, 8 July 1 976.

The Prices Justification Tribunal held a public inquiry in October 1974 into proposed higher prices to be charged by Blue Circle Southern Cement Limited (report dated 29 November 1974). Since the Tribunal commenced operations in August 1973 it has processed a total of 17 notices of higher prices for cement supplied by the company.

Over the same period the Tribunal has processed 28 notices of higher prices for various steel products supplied by Tubemakers of Australia Limited, but has not held a public inquiry into this company.

The Tribunal has had little need to seek information of any special nature from Australian Mining and Smelting Limited which has operated under the terms of an exemption order since September 1973 (E73/1S8 published in Gazette No. 125 of 1 1 September 1973 and re-published in Gazette No. 17b of 22 February 1974).

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