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Wednesday, 13 October 1971
Page: 2237

Mr HUGHES (BEROWRA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Minister for the Interior. Have reports come to the Minister's notice that a prospectus inviting the subscription of equity capital in certain Northern Territory properties in which Sir William Gunn is interested is on issue in New York but cannot be issued in Australia? Can the Minister confirm these reports? If the reports be correct will the Minister seek the advice of the Attorney-General as to whether legislative action can be taken to reinforce in any such case the Government's policy that overseas investment in Australian assets should, where possible, be accompanied by Australian equity participation? Will the Minister do whatever he can to ensure that this principle is upheld and that persons in the position of Sir William Gunn are not allowed free rein to sell large parcels of the Northern Territory to overseas investors without giving equal access to such investment to Australian investors?

Mr HUNT (GWYDIR, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Interior) - I have seen the Press reports referred to by the honourable member.I also saw a conflicting report in the 'Australian' of Monday, 11th October 1971. 1 think it stated that Australians can invest in this project. I willhowever seek the advice of the Attorney-General along the lines suggested by the honourable member.

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