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Wednesday, 30 November 1983
Page: 3052

Mr SCOTT —Can the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs advise the House whether the Yulara tourist development has suffered any financial difficulties as a consequence of the proposed transfer of title to Uluru National Park to the Aboriginal people, as was predicted by the Chief Minister, Mr Everingham, earlier this month?

Mr HOLDING —Honourable members will be aware that Mr Everingham suggested, only a matter of days after the Government had announced its intention to transfer Uluru back to the Aboriginal people, that the whole financial basis of Yulara was threatened as a result of that government action. Honourable members will recall that Mr Everingham, in support of that proposition, produced a telex from an officer in Citibank in Brisbane suggesting that there would be some difficulties in concluding the necessary financial arrangements involved in the $70m loan. Honourable members will also recall that the Prime Minister was able to expose that particular piece of correspondence for what it was by producing a statement from the Chairman of Citicorp Australia Ltd, Mr Richard Jackson, in which he reassured the people of the Northern Territory and Mr Everingham that there would be no change in the underlying security arrangements relating to the proposed facility at Yulara.

I am now happy to advise honourable members that the Yulara development company concluded its financing agreement involving the $70m loan with major international institutions, including Citicorp, in Hong Kong on 24 November, as scheduled. In other words, there has been absolutely no change to the development proposals or to any financial arrangements supporting the Yulara project as a consequence of the proposed transfer of title to the Aboriginal people. The satisfactory conclusion of those arrangements exposes the statements of Mr Everingham for the cheap, mendacious political exercise that they were, and which unfortunately received some support in this House.