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Wednesday, 17 October 1973
Page: 2273

Mr HURFORD (Adelaide) - I do not want to delay the Committee for very long, but I do want to say, having listened to the right honourable member for Lowe (Mr McMahon), that I think he has failed to understand the nature of this Bill. I base that upon what he has had to say. I want to remind him of what the Minister for Overseas Trade (Dr J. F. Cairns) said about this provision. He said that there are large areas in which the AIDC will operate as before. That will be in the private sector. The right honourable member for Lowe has taken advice on this. I have asked the same questions as the right honourable member for Lowe and received privately answers which satisfied me that because it would be in the private sector, those sections of the AIDC which are operating in the private sector should be in every nature private, which means that eminent firms of chartered accountants - I do not see why we should not mention the firm in this case; it is the firm well known throughout Australia of Edwin V. Nixon and Partners - should continue in the role of auditors. It is a body which is operating in the private sector, has great relationships in the private sector and should be seen to have those relationships. To that extent, the private firm of auditors provides the most appropriate people to be the auditors. Where the AIDC moves into the public sector - there are areas where this Bill will allow the AIDC to do so - the Auditor-General has his particular function. I support the Minister in resisting any changes in this area.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 5.

Section 6 of the Principal Act is amended -

(a)   by omitting sub-section (1) and substituting the following sub-section: - "(1) The functions of the Corporation are -

(a)   to facilitate and encourage the establishment, development and advancement of Australian industries concerned with the manufacture, processing, treatment, transportation or distribution of goods, or the development or use of natural resources (including the recovery of minerals), by -

(ii)   engaging or participating in enterprises or developmental projects in relation to any such industries or activities', and

(b)   to secure, to the greatest extent that is practicable, participation by Australian residents in the ownership and control of companies engaging in any such industries or activities."; and

(b)   by adding at the end thereof the following sub-section: - " (4) Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), the functions of the Corporation may be performed -

(a)   in the capacity of, and to the extent that they are appropriate to be performed by, a trading or financial corporation formed within the limits of Australia; or

(b)   for the purpose of assisting Australian companies, being trading or financial corporations formed within the limits of Australia, in their trading or financial operations. and sub-section (3) does not restrict the performance by the Corporation of its functions in accordance with this sub-section.".

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