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Tuesday, 15 November 1983
Page: 2745

Question No. 553

Mr Lloyd asked the Minister for Communications, upon notice, on 21 September 1983:

(1) Is the Overseas Telecommunications Commission (Australia) about to place a contract for the survey of the marine cable route from Australia to Singapore via Indonesia; if so what will be the approximate cost of the survey and what share will Australia pay.

(2) Will OTC be insisting on Australian content in this survey separate from Australian content in the overall project; if not, what steps will be taken to ensure that Australia receives contracts commensurate with its overall contribution.

Mr Duffy —The answer to the honourable member's question, based on advice received from the Overseas Telecommunications Commission, is as follows:

(1) The Overseas Telecommunications Commission (Australia) is co-operating with the organisations responsible for international telecommunications in Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong in the planning of a submarine cable from Perth to Singapore via Jakarta. Part of this planning involves a route survey for which tenders were called by the Telecommunications Authority of Singapore acting on behalf of the other participants. Contract negotiations are now in progress. The final cost will depend on the duration of the marine work and is expected to be about $1.5m of which OTC's share will be approximately $0.9m.

(2) In an international project of this nature involving co-operation between the telecommunications authorities of a number of Governments, OTC is not able to insist on Australian content. However, the route survey contract is expected to result in Australian content equivalent to approximately 17 per cent of Australia's payment share.