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Tuesday, 11 April 1972
Page: 904

Senator MURPHY (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I direct a question to the Attorney-General. Is it not clear that public concern over the impending takeover of Ansett Transport Industries Ltd by Thomas Nationwide Transport Ltd is so great because of the continuing neglect of the Government to introduce Jaws for supervising such takeovers to ensure that the public interest is protected? Is it not a fact that such laws were proposed some 10 years ago by Sir Garfield Barwick? How much longer must the people of Australia wait before the Government introduces laws to control the growth of monopolies in Australia?

Senator GREENWOOD - It must be recognised that there are laws in Australia which do regulate the takeovers of companies in this country. As part of the companies Sir Garfield Barwick on behalf of the Government in about 1962 in which this was an area canvassed. Subsequent legislation did not incorporate those provisions but it is abundantly clear that in recent times the Government has been giving attention to a review of the existing restrictive trade practices legislation with a view to strengthening it. I can assure the Senate that the review being undertaken is a most comprehensive one. It is being carried out in depth. The Government is determined that what eventually emerges will be legislation which will give effect to the purposes of promoting restrictive trade practices legislation and also the benefits which come from curbing such practices. Whether or not such provisions will include laws relating to takeovers and mergers must depend on the final decision yet to be made by the Government

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