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Foreign investment proposal



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TREASURER

EMBARGO IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NO.

_;v r.,·. . STATEMENT BY THE TREASURER, THE HONOURABLE JOHN HOWARD, MP

FOREIGN INVESTMENT PROPOSAL ·

COMMERCIAL AVIATION/ROTOR SERVICES

The Government has decided that the proposal by Commercial

Aviation Pty Ltd to acquire the Northern Territory based,

wholly Australian-owned helicopter operator, Rotor Services

Pty Ltd, would be inconsistent with the Government's foreign

investment policy.

Commercial Aviation Pty Ltd is a joint venture between

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (through its subsidiary

Rex Aviation Limited) and the US-owned Evergreen

Helicopters Inc. Because of the foreign ownership in

Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation, the beneficial foreign

shareholding in Commercial Aviation (excluding portfolio ■ , ί - V

shareholdings ) is about 6 2.5 °/o.

The proposal falls within the restricted civil aviation

sector of the foreign investment policy. It was examined

against the criteria laid down under the policy to ensure

that it was not contrary to the national interest.

2

The proposal was examined against the background of the

light helicopter (ie . maximum take-off weight of less than

2,72:0kg) industry in Australia which is predominantly

Australian owned and controlled. The Government

considered that the proposal did not offer sufficient

economic benefits to Australia to offset the loss of

Australian ownership involved and therefore did not

warrant approval. .

As a separate but concurrent consideration, the Government

has granted approval to Commercial Aviation to operate

its heavy helicopters Australia-wide. This approval

reflects the continuing need for access to overseas expertise

in this specialist sector of the helicopter industry.

' ' ' * ' · " ■ ,

The Government gave careful consideration to the views of

third parties.

CANBERRA ACT 15 December 1980