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Provincial Newspapers (QLD) Ltd



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NO. 56

TREASURER

PRESS RELEASE

e m b a r g o

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY C. I. S.

STATEMENT BY THE TREASURER, THE HON P.J. KEATING, HP PROVINCIAL NEWSPAPERS (QLDj LTD

The Government has raised no objections under foreign investment policy to a proposal by Haswell Pty Ltd to acquire all the issued share capital in Provincial Newspapers (Qld) Ltd (PNQ).

PNQ is a publicly listed company, based in Brisbane, which publishes a number of weekly and daily newspapers in provincial Queensland and northern New South Wales. The

largest shareholder in PNQ is the News Ltd group, which holds approximately 48 per cent of the share capital and is in a position to control the company.

News Ltd is required by the Trade Practices commission to sell its interest.

Haswell Pty Ltd is owned as to 85.05 per cent by Ligon Pty Ltd, a trust controlled by two Australians, Messrs K. Luscombe and G. Tucker for the benefit of Mr Cameron O'Reilly and other Australian members of the O'Reilly family who reside in Australia. The remaining 14.95 per cent of Haswell is owned by Independent Newspapers Pic, an Irish publishing company of which Dr A.J.P. O'Reilly, an Irish citizen resident in the

USA, is the principal.

Dr O'Reilly has close commercial and personal ties with Australia,ยท his wife is an Australian citizen and his children are the beneficiaries of Ligon Pty Ltd. The income and other benefits from the trust's investment can, under the trust deed, only be paid to Australian residents.

PNQ is foreign controlled under its present shareholding structure. The proposal of Haswell Pty Ltd will result in an effective increase in Australian ownership and control of the media industry.

The Queensland Government supports the proposal.

CANBERRA ACT 10 June 1900