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Thursday, 27 April 1972
Page: 1383


Senator O'BYRNE (Tasmania) - lt is of great interest to see this interim report of the Standing Committee on Industry and Trade on the proposed takeover of Ansett Transport Industries Ltd by Thomas Nationwide Transport Ltd. Of course I look on this proposed takeover as being a normal procedure in this day and age where the bigger fish eat the smaller fish. This is the sort of attitude of business today. After all, if we have a look at this doyen of Australia on whom we are trying to adjudicate - Sir Reginald Ansett - we find that he has done a fair share of the same type of thing himself.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Withers) - Order! I suggest that the honourable senator come back to the motion. We might proceed a little more rapidly.


Senator O'BYRNE - If I might just make my own preliminary remarks-

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT - Order! Let us stay with the motion.


Senator O'BYRNE - 1 am on the motion. I think that I should be given as much tolerance by the Chair as was given to other speakers. I say that the Victorian Government has taken an attitude in relation to this matter while a Senate standing committee was investigating it. The Victorian Government has taken action which has cut across the activities of the Senate. 1 have seen this type of thing happen before. It happened with the Senate Select Committee on Offshore Petroleum Resources. Sir Henry Bolte had already sold out the Victorian and Australian interests in Bass Strait oil to overseas interests without one little thought about what happens to Australian equity in these things. Mr Thomas of Thomas Nationwide Transport Ltd has conducted a business with great credit to himself and his organisation. He started off, as did Sir Reginald Ansett, as a truck driver. He came through the same processes. This is the big matching of intellects, capacity and ability to survive in the modern day economic world. As a large and successful progressive organisation, TNT operates within the rules of our capitalist system in an honourable way. I would like to stress that.

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT - Order! Would the honourable senator please come back to Senator Murphy's motion?


Senator O'BYRNE - I am speaking to the motion. I place on record that there should be no recriminations against TNT. This dramatic alteration referred to in the interim report of the Standing Committee on Industry and Trade should not leave any thought in the minds of Australians that Thomas Nationwide Transport Ltd has done anything wrong. They are honourable people. Their opponents have had Commonwealth Government assistance in relation to this investigation. I think that this Committee should continue its investigations after the Victorian intervention has concluded.







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