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Thursday, 28 November 1974
Page: 2901


Senator STEELE HALL (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I ask the AttorneyGeneral whether he is aware of a passage in the proposed indenture between the State of South Australia and the Redcliffs Petrochemical Co. Ltd- it is in sub-clause (2) of clause 25- which reads:

For the purposes only of the Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1971 or any other legislation of the Commonwealth relating to trade practices whether passed in substitution therefor or otherwise (and only for such purposes) the State hereby approves those agreements practices arrangements acts or things in connection with the undermentioned matters which would, but for this Indenture, be a contravention of such act or other legislation.

The sub-clause then goes on to list the matters which the State--


The PRESIDENT - Order! Ask your question, please.


Senator STEELE HALL - Yes, Mr President. In asking this question I wish to direct the attention of the Attorney-General to the fact that the matters listed are of very wide significance in the procurement of raw materials and the disposal of products. I ask the Minister whether he believes that it is proper that a State government in a proposed indenture intends to void the application of the trade practices legislation as it concerns an $800m proposal. I ask him also whether he will allow the State to proceed unchallenged.


Senator MURPHY - I was not aware of this matter until the honourable senator referred to it just now. I will have it investigated. Certainly a departure of such dimensions may create a great vacuum in the operation of the Act. In general, without dealing with the technicalities of the matter, the Senate will be aware that what is done under State law specifically falls outside the scope of the Act, but that situation can be coped with by an appropriate regulation under the Trade Practices Act. I think that that is perhaps a sufficient description of how the procedures operate in general but because this is a technical legal matter I will look into it and advise the Senate further.







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