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Thursday, 17 February 1977
Page: 252

Mr Lloyd (MURRAY, VICTORIA) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Industry and Commerce, upon notice:

(1)   With reference to the Minister's recent press release announcing the transfer of the Commonwealth's interest in Old Sydney Town Pty Ltd will the Government loan of $2.05m be repaid to the Commonwealth. If so, what are the repayment arrangements. If not, does this mean that the total Commonwealth grant for the project is actually $2. 37m, or is it more than this.

(2)   What sum have the other shareholders and creditors advanced, and what is now their position.

(3)   What sum has the Government given to tourist projects, and is Old Sydney Town the largest recipient.

Mr Howard - The Minister for Industry and Commerce has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(   1 ) The Commonwealth has not allocated any grant funds to Old Sydney Town Pty Ltd. The former Labor Government purchased a 25.5 per cent shareholding in the Company in May 1974 for $317,028 and the Commonwealth subsequently advanced loans totalling $2.05m. The agreement between the Commonwealth and New South Wales

Governments provides for the transfer by the Commonwealth, free of consideration, its shareholding and loan interests, in return for which the New South Wales Government has agreed to assume governmental support of the project.

(2)   It is not considered appropriate to divulge details of financial dealings between the Company and its shareholders or creditors. However I understand that the New South Wales Government has reached a satisfactory agreement with the other shareholders and has advanced sufficient funds to the company to pay off its creditors.

(3)   Prior to the discontinuation, in February 1976, of a Commonwealth scheme of financial assistance for the development of tourist attractions and facilities, approximately $3.9m had been allocated to such projects in all States since the scheme commenced in 1972-73. As stated in (1) above no grant funds were allocated to Old Sydney Town.

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