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Monday, 16 September 1985
Page: 545

Senator DURACK —Is the Minister for Resources and Energy giving consideration to the establishment of a government hydrocarbons corporation, presumably to go into the oil business? If so, what is his reason for giving consideration to the establishment of such a body, apart, of course, from a doctrinaire adherence to Australian Labor Party policy?

Senator GARETH EVANS —The Government is not giving any formal consideration to that concept at this stage. The particular context in which it has arisen-I notice it was the subject of a Press report last week to which Senator Durack is undoubtedly referring-is one possible method of organising investment on the Australian side in a possible joint development zone with Indonesia. There are many different ways in which the Australian interests could be represented and mobilised in the context of that proposed joint development zone. I can assure the honourable senator that the hydrocarbons corporation concept or the notion of some governmental agency being the administering authority, no doubt in conjunction with private enterprise, is but one of a number of possible options and certainly should not generate any anger on his part or, for that matter, on the part of the oil industry.