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Thursday, 26 May 1983
Page: 1105

Question No. 114

Mr Jacobi asked the Minister for Science and Technology, upon notice, on 11 May 1983:

Was the company Interscan Pty Ltd set up by the Government to produce and market the Interscan aircraft landing guidance system; if so,

(a) where and when was the company registered,

(b) what is its share capital,

(c) who owns the shares,

(d) who are the directors,

(e) how many persons are employed by Interscan,

(f) from where does the company operate,

(g) is it subject to tax,

(h) does it make annual reports and

(j) what is its financial record.

Mr Barry Jones —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The Interscan microwave landing system (MLS) project is a government-funded development program aimed at the eventual commercial exploitation by Australian industry of an invention by the CSIRO. Interscan Australia Pty Ltd (IAPL) was formed to be a vehicle for Australian industry to participate in the ongoing development stage of the project. At a later time the company could also be a vehicle for commercial activities and to that end will bid for a large US contract for the supply of MLS.

(a) In 1978 the company was incorporated in the A.C.T. as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Australian Industry Development Corporation (AIDC).

(b) The share capital of the company was 10 000 shares of $1 each but was recently increased to an authorised capital of $10 million, the issue capital to 10 000 fully paid and 3 million ($1 shares partly paid to 13 cents,) and paid capital to $400 000.

AIDC provided the additional capital to IAPL, both to enhance its bid to supply Microwave Landing Systems (MLS) to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States, and to meet the funding requirements for the production and supply of the MLS if the bid is successful.

In that event, calls would be made on the partly-paid shares from time to time as required to fund the Company's operations in the production and sale of MLS.

(c) AIDC currently owns all the shares of IAPL but two Australian companies Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Ltd, (AWA) and Hawker de Havilland (HDH) have options to take up shares in the company. These options derive from a ' Participation Agreement' between IAPL, AIDC, The Commonwealth of Australia, AWA, and HDH and are currently under review by the Board of IAPL.

(d) The Directors of IAPL are: Sir Ian McLennan, KCMG, KBE, FTS, FAA, (Chairman ), Sir Walter Leonard, DFC, Dr W. J. McG. Tegart, FTS, Mr J. R. Thomas, Dr J. P. Wild, CBE, FTS, FAA, FRS, Dr J. L. Farrands, CB, FTS, Mr B. S. Price, Mr C. C. Halton, CBE, Mr J. A. L. Hooke, CBE, The Managing Director is Mr J. Drennan.

(e) IAPL has 13 permanent employees and in addition engages consultants as required.

(f) IAPL currently operates from Ryde, Sydney, N.S.W. but in July 1983 will move to industrial premises in Brodie St., Rydalmere N.S.W.

(g) Yes, the company is subject to tax.

(h) Yes, the company files annual reports with the Companies Registrar.

(j) The financial record of the company reflects that the project is not yet at a stage of commercial operation. Todate the company has depended almost entirely on development funds provided by the Government to balance its various expenditures. In that sense the acompany operates on an approximately break-even basis. The 1982 annual report of the AIDC includes detailed financial statements of IAPL.