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Audition for N.R.C.



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17 December 1991

AUDITOR FOR N.R.C.

The National Rail Corporation acted properly in appointing an interim auditor, Federal Land Transport Minister Bob Brown said today.

Mr Brown said the appointment was in accordance with company law and would be considered by shareholders at the NRC's first annual general meeting.

"As the NRC is neither owned nor controlled by the Commonwealth, there is no standing policy that requires the Commonwealth Auditor General to be its auditor," he said.

"The auditor appointed by the NRC is a large, successful and highly reputable firm.

"The NRC also will produce a corporate plan annually for consideration by the shareholders.

"Additionally it will produce a publicly-available statement of corporate intent setting out its objectives, the nature and scope of its activities, its accounting policies, information on its performance and any other matters the shareholders consider necessary.

"The NRC's annual report will be released publicly, and in accordance with long-established convention I will be tabling it in the Parliament.

"These arrangements provide for full and open scrutiny and provide an appropriate and adequate degree of accountability for the taxpayers' funds used by the NRC."

Mr Brown said the establishment of the NRC by the Commonwealth, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia was a fine example of cooperative federalism.

He said the NRC was a public company operating on a fully commercial basis, with no special privileges, additional liabilities or government subsidies, and was not owned by any one of its shareholders.

"No single party is predominant," said Mr Brown.

"This new approach to interstate rail transport represents a unique solution to a problem that bedevilled the nation since Federation."

Media inquiries: Brian Hill (06) 277

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