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Thursday, 25 June 2009
Page: 4337


Senator CARR (Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research) (3:03 PM) —On Monday, 22 June, I received a question from Senator Bob Brown and I indicated to that question that if there were any further matters the Minister for Trade had to offer in regard to the proposition of the Gunns company receiving any support then I would come back to the chamber. I have been advised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade that in the case of the Gunns pulp mill under this government—that is, since the last election—Austrade has received two informal inquiries from potential investors which, to the best of the department’s knowledge, did not proceed further. The former government, the coalition government, did receive an application for major project facilitation status from the pulp mill in April 2005. This was granted in June 2005 and expired in December 2008. For projects granted MPF status, potential investors are provided with information, advice and assistance with necessary government approvals, as well as advice on relevant government programs that may assist significant investment projects. The MPF service was transferred under this government to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government in December 2007.