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Labor shows their halfheartedness yet again

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DAVID Hawker : Federal Member for Wannon Shadow Minister for Land Transport

M e d i a R e l e a s e


Labor has shown their total inability to deal with issues properly, yet again, according to Shadow Minister for Land Transport, David Hawker.

In legislation which was debated in Parliament yesterday dealing with Australian National Railways (AN), the Government displayed a total lack of understanding of how to get the best from our Government Business Enterprises (GBEs).

The legislation dealt with Australian National's ability to manage its financial affairs. It was necessary because a recent judgement of the House of Lords in the UK cast doubt on borrowing powers of GBEs such as AN. AN, and many other GBEs had been using

these borrowing instruments for many years.

However, financial markets in Australia were not happy to continue to deal with GBEs when they used these instruments. So legislation had to be introduced to give the GBEs the statutory power to use these instruments.

This is where the Government showed its ineptitude.

The legislation that was introduced appears as though not only will it not satisfy the financial markets, it will actually further limit Australian National's ability to manage its financial affairs.

It is not good enough for the Government to say, "well if it is not adequate we can always make some new legislation later". This legislation has already been many months in gestation.

The Government says that it is trying to make rail more commercial. Yet by introducing legislation that will hamstring one of the most commercial railways in Australia its claims reek of incompetence and hypocrisy.

ends 7 November 1991

Contact: David Hawker (06) 277 4231

Janice Wykes (06) 277 4231 or (06) 288 3946