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Removal of subsidy payable to Burns Philip & Co. Ltd, for the Australia/Papua New Guinea shipping services



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JOINT PRESS RELEASE BY MINISTERS FOR SHIPPING

AND TRANSPORT AND FOR TERRITORIES.

ST/6

769

REMOVAL'. OF SUBSIDY PAYABLE TO BURNS PHILP & CO» LTD.

FOR THE, AUSTRAUA/PAPUA-NEl·/ GUINEA SHIPPING SERVICE

The Commonwealth Governm ent h a s d e c id e d t o w ith d ra w p r o g r e s s iv e ly

th e s u b s id y p a id to B urns P h ilp & Co. L td * , i n r e s p e c t o f i t s s h ip p in g

o p e r a tio n s betw een A u s t r a l i a and Papua-New G u in ea,

I n a j o i n t s ta te m e n t to d a y , th e M in is te r f o r S h ip p in g and

T r a n s p o r t, Mr. Gordon F r e e th , and th e M in is te r f o r T e r r i t o r i e s , Mr. C .E . B a rn e s ,

s a i d th e p r e s e n t a n n u a l s u b s id y w ould be p h ased o u t g r a d u a l ly o v e r th e n e x t

15 m o n th s, and end a l t o g e t h e r on December 3 1 , 1968,

The w ith d ra w a l o f th e p r e s e n t a n n u a l s u b s id y w ould b e g in i n

A p r i l , 1 9 6 8 , The Commonwealth Government i n ac c o rd a n c e w ith a g re e d

a rra n g e m e n ts w i l l g iv e th e company s i x months n o t i c e t o t h a t e f f e c t .

' S u b sid y w ould be w ith d raw n i n r e s p e c t o f th e " B u lo lo " i n A p r i l ,

1968, and "M aleluka" on J m e 30^ 1968 and th e "M oresby" on December 3 1 , 1 9 6 8 ,

C o n tin u a tio n o f th e s u b s id y f o r eac h s h ip i n th e m eantim e w ould ■

becfependent on th e s h ip re m a in in g on th e A u s t r a li a n r e g i s t e r up t o t h a t d a t e .

The M in is te r s a l s o s a i d t h a t th e s p e c i a l p r i v i l e g e s g ra n te d t o

B urns P h ilp f o r th e c a r r i a g e o f c o p ra and G o v e rn m e n t-c o n tro lle d s t o r e s w ould

be w ith d raw n on June 3 0 , 1 9 6 8 , ' ''

i

They p o in te d o u t t h a t th e s u b s id y had been in tr o d u c e d i n J a n u a ry ,

1 9 5 5 , t o m a in ta in t h r e e s h ip s o f th e A u s t r a l i a n r e g i s t e r i n th e Papua-New

G uinea t r a d e . I n 1 9 6 6 /6 7 th e am ount o f s u b s id y had b een $ 4 0 0 ,0 0 0 ,

Burns P h ilp had p la y e d an im p o r ta n t r o l e i n th e dev elo p m en t o f

th e T e r r i t o r y , and th e y w ere e x p e c te d to c o n tin u e t o do s o . S h ip p in g

c irc u m s ta n c e s i n Papuar-New G uinea had ch an g ed , how ever, and s h ip p in g s e r v i c e s

to th e T e r r i t o r y had i n c r e a s e d , if r , F r e e th s a i d t h e r e w ere now 13 o p e r a t o r s

s e r v in g Papuar-New G uinea p o r t s and t h e r e was l i t t l e l i k e l i h o o d o f s h ip p in g

s e r v i c e s b e in g d im in is h e d by th e w ith d ra w a l o f th e s u b s id y .

M o d e rn is a tio n i n c a rg o s h ip p in g and h a n d lin g m ethods was ta k in g

V

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p l a c e , w ith new ty p e s o f s h ip s and th e i n t r o d u c t i o n o f m odern c a r g o - h a n d lin g

te c h n iq u e s w h ich w ould e n a b le more e f f i c i e n t and p r o f i t a b l e s e r v ic e *

The M in is te r s s a i d t h a t i n r e c e n t y e a r s , g r e a t e r em phasis h ad been

p la c e d on p a s s e n g e r t r a v e l by a i r . The f i r s t c l a s s a i r f a r e was l e s s th a n

th e lo w e s t s e a f a r e .

There had b een d is c u s s io n i n th e Papuan-New G uinea House o f

A ssem bly a b o u t th e m onopoly i n th e c o p ra t r a d e e n jo y e d by Burns P h i l p , and

a l s o th e r i g h t t o Governm ent s h ip p in g b u s in e s s betw een A u s t r a l i a and th e

T e r r i t o r y , and Mr, B arnes s a id t h a t o th e r s h ip p in g com panies w ere s e e k in g a

s h a r e i n th e t r a d e . ,

Removal o f th e s u b s id y and p r i v i l e g e s i s e x p e c te d t o be more

c o n d u civ e to c o m p e titio n and i t i s t h e r e f o r e i n th e lo n g - te r m i n t e r e s t s o f

th e T e r r i t o r y 's econom ic d ev e lo p m e n t.

1 0 th O c to b e r, 1 9 6 7 .