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Credit for the Fishing Industry: Expansion of Functions of Commonwealth Development Bank



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STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER FOR PRIMARY INDUSTRY

PRESS RELEASE

Credit for the Fishing Industry: Expansion of Functions of Commonwealth Development Bank

Joint Press Statement by the Treasurer The Hon. Frank Crean and Minister for Primary Industry Senator Ken Wriedt

The Treasurer and the Minister for Primary Industry

today announced arrangements made by the Government to improve

credit- facilities available to the Australian fishing industry.

The Ministers said that for some time it had been

recognised that the fishing industry and, in particular, the

smaller owner/skipper operation had experienced difficulty in

obtaining credit on suitable terms. This difficulty had been

highlighted by a recent survey by the Department of Primary

Industry on the availability of finance to the fishing industry

The Government's recently announced policy of assisting the

development of Australian fisheries, and the further stimulus

that could.occur in the event of international acceptance of

an extended fisheries management zone at the forthcoming law

of the Sen. Conference, suggested that the need could well be

greater than the above survey indicated. ■

With this in mind, Mr. Crean and Senator Wriedt said

that the Government desired to see lending to the fishing . .

industry by the Commonwealth Development Bank extended to cover

a wider range of purposes.. The Development Bank's lending

activities in the fishing area are, with a few exceptions,

currently confined to loans for new boat construction and gear

and loans to improve the operating performance and functional

utility of older vessels.

The wider range of purposes comprises:

financing of changes of ownership of fishing

vessels in appropriate circumstances, including

circumstances where developmental aspects are not

predominent; and

2.

(b) financing the repayment of existing debt that had

been arranged on unsuitable terms.and conditions.

Lending by the Development Bank for the above,

purposes will be subject to the same statutory provisions

as those applicable to the Bank’s existing lending operations,

including the requirement that the Bank should be satisfied the

finance would not otherwise be available on reasonable and

suitable terms and conditions. The interest rates charged

would be in the range applicable to similar loans to farmers -

at present 9$ to 9.75$ p.a.

The Ministers said that they had been assured that the

Development Bank:would not delay implementing the widened

policy and was already in a position to discuss proposals with

prospective borrowers.

Canberra

22 March,. 1974.