Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 17 October 1973
Page: 2274

Mr LYNCH (Flinders) - I move:

Omit paragraph (a) of proposed sub-section (1), substitute the following paragraph: - " (a) to assist in the provision of financial resources required by Australian companies engaging or proposing to engage in industries in Australia concerned with the manufacture, processing or treatment of goods, or with the recovery of minerals, for the purpose of facilitating and encouraging the establishment, development and advancement of those industries; and".

The Opposition amendments to clause 5 give basic effect to our belief that the Corporation should not be able to engage in functions which are associated with the transportation and distribution of goods, nor should the Corporation have the capacity to form a company in its own right. The Minister for Overseas Trade (Or J. F. Cairns) who is at the table will understand that the amendments relate to both of those fundamental questions.

Clause 5 of the Bill seeks powers within the ambit of similar powers formerly rejected by the Opposition in respect of the Australian National Airlines Commission. By this clause the Government seeks to extend the functions of the Corporation to encompass a number of fields including the transportation and distribution of goods. As I mentioned during my speech on the second reading stage of this Bill, this provision provides a salient indication of the real objectives of the legislation. If the object of this legislation is to use the Australian Industry Development Corporation to secure Australian ownership and control, it is fair to ask the Minister to say when he responds in this debate why he seeks an extension of powers in the ambit of the AIDC relating to the fields of transportation and the distribution of goods.

Air transport is one field in which there is 100 per cent Australian ownership. Half is owned by the Government and, of course, half is owned by Australian shareholders. If one looks at the field of road passenger transport, again it is seen to be owned 100 per cent by Australian companies. If one looks at the field of road freighting organisations, one finds that the five or six largest national operators are all Australian owned. Furthermore, the capital markets both here and overseas have and will continue to provide adequate finance for the future development of the transport industry in the private sector. Clearly, one can be for given for believing that the Government is intent on the extension of public control of the transport industry. The Opposition rejects this proposition as entirely unjustified, not simply on economic grounds but also because of the social implications of that approach. We believe this to be a device to achieve objectives formerly sought in previous legislative proposals and because we rejected those proposals when the Australian National Airlines Bill was before this House, we certainly reject them again.

Clause 5 also seeks to amend the Act to widen the functions of the Corporation to enable it to form a company in its own right. We believe - and we are entitled to put our point of view firmly in this House - that this represents an unwarranted extension of the Corporation's powers. It is our view that the Corporation's functions should not be subject to the alteration in the manner in which clause 5 seeks to provide. Its functions as presently constituted are designed to assist the private sector in respect of the mining and manufacturing industries, to provide development finance in situations where existing financial institutions are not able to meet the financial and investment needs of Australian companies and to provide a stimulus for export and import replacements. The alteration proposed by the Government plainly is not designed to assist Australian companies. Its purpose is to assist the Government's aim to promote its concept of State-controlled corporate socialisation.

Before entering the chamber, I was interested to read back over the Minister's second reading speech. It was just a cursory reading, but 1 ask the Minister to respond to what I put to him. It was curious that I could not find the word 'socialism' anywhere in the second reading speech. I thought to myself that it was not only curious but was also a point on which I should probe the Minister.

Mr Hurford - Let us hear what you mean by it.

Mr LYNCH - I should like to hear the honourable member for Adelaide on this point because I do not think he has the faintest idea. T should like to hear the Minister indicate why there is no reference at all to the word socialism' because clearly in the philosophy of the Australian Labor Party, for which they would make no apologies-

Suggest corrections