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Tuesday, 11 February 1986
Page: 27


Senator BOLKUS —I refer the Minister representing the Treasurer to reports in recent days of investments within Australia by members of the Marcos family and Administration. Can the Minister ensure that the Foreign Investment Review Board makes available details of applications for investment in Australia from Philippines citizens? If not, can the Minister make representations to the Board to ensure a change of policy in order that the Australian public can be made aware of the level of such investment in this country, as is the public of the United States of America made aware of the level of investment of the corrupt Marcos regime in the United States of America?


Senator WALSH —In response to the earlier part of the question, in some cases the Treasurer does issue Press releases on particular FIRB proposals but it is not standard practice to do so. According to the note I have from the Treasurer, it is not regarded by him as being appropriate in every case that Press releases giving details of particular takeover bids should be issued. On the occasions when a Press release has come out, as a matter of historical fact none involving Philippines companies or, I presume, companies owned by Philippines interests has been released. According to FIRB data, Philippines companies and investors have been minor investors in Australia. During the six years to 1984-85 decisions were made on 15 investment proposals involving Philippines interests and 14 of those were approved. Total expenditure by Philippines interests was some $12.5m. In regard to the second part of the question-that is, if the information is not normally released, will it be released in this case-I think I can do no more than pass on that request to the Treasurer for his response.