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Screening of foreign investment proposals

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12 June 1974 Press Statement N o .


In his 29 April Policy Speech the Prime Minister said that the Government would proceed with the further definition of guidelines for foreign investment in Australia and would extend the present systems of surveillance into a general

screening process under the co-ordination of the Treasurer.

Mr Whitlam to4ay announced the establishment of new machinery as part of the development of more extensive systems of surveillance by the Government of foreign investment in Australia.

A new interdepartmental committee is to be established to examine and provide advice on foreign investment proposals which come under notice through the exchange control mechanism and do not involve the takeover of Australian businesses.

The new committee will report to the Treasurer and will comprise representatives of the Treasury, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Department of Overseas Trade, the Department of Minerals and Energy, the Department Manufacturing

Industry and the Reserve Bank. Representatives of other departments will be co-opted to the committee as appropriate in the examination of particular proposals.

The new committee will thus parallel and complement the existing Committee on Foreign Takeovers. Like that committee, its functions will be purely advisory.

The establishment of the new committee will not affect the existing procedures under which applications for exchange control approval for individual foreign investment proposals are processed through the Reserve Bank.

Mr Whitlam added that, in addition to reporting on foreign investment proposals arising through the exchange control mechanism, the new committee will be asked to bring forward, for the Government's consideration, detailed proposals for the

screening of foreign investment activities which do not involve exchange control approvals - for example, investment proposals which would be financed by foreign interests from funds available to them from Australian sources.