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Tuesday, 15 August 1989
Page: 67

(Question No. 1009)

Senator Dunn asked the Minister for Resources, upon notice, on 23 May 1989:

(1) Has the Government signed any agreement with Daishowa International, or is it proposing to sign an agreement, for the establishment of a pulp mill in the Grafton area of New South Wales.

(2) If such a mill is proposed, can the Minister indicate where the timber resources for the mill would come from and how much timber this would involve.

(3) Would the Government be prepared to accept 100 per cent foreign ownership by such a company in view of the fact that a subsidiary of the same company already wholly owns the major woodchip operation in south eastern New South Wales.

Senator Cook —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) The Commonwealth Government has not signed any agreement with Daishowa International, nor have any proposals been made to sign an agreement for the establishment of a pulpmill in the Grafton area of New South Wales.

(2) I am aware that such a mill has been proposed, but I have no details of the proposal, or of the timber resource on which it would be based.

(3) There is no Commonwealth Government requirement for Australian equity in any new pulp mill. However, the establishment by foreign interests of a new pulp mill or similar venture involving a total expenditure of $10 million or more would be subject to examination under the Government's foreign investment policy. In its examination the Government would take into account economic, environmental and other relevant considerations to determine whether the proposal was contrary to the national interest. If those considerations were affected by the pulp mill developer also owning other related operations in Australia the Government would have regard to the implications, but there is no presumption under existing policy that common foreign ownership of different operations in related industries will necessarily be undesirable.