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Thursday, 1 December 1983
Page: 3160

Mr BEDDALL(12.32) —In the very limited time I have available this afternoon I would like to address remarks solely to the Australian Industry Development Corporation Amendment Bill, as I am sure that the Minister for Science and Technology (Mr Barry Jones) in his closing remarks will address the other two Bills before the House. It is with a feeling of pride that I speak in support of the Australian Industry Development Corporation Amendment Bill, for this legislation gives effect to the clear policies of this Government in its approach to assisting Australian industry. The expanded Corporation will enable the AIDC to help the reindustrialisation of Australia. The Government has increased not only the capital of the AIDC but also its gearing ratio. The statutory capital of the Corporation will be increased by $50m to a total of $ 150m but, more importantly, it will be able to borrow up to 15 times its capital and reserves and, therefore, will have at its disposal in excess of $2,000m. This strengthening of the AIDC will prove a very relevant, powerful and flexible instrument in the regeneration and growth of a more viable Australian industrial base.

Another significant decision of this Government is to provide Commonwealth guarantees for the borrowings undertaken by the AIDC. This will enable the AIDC to attract not only more domestic market funds but also more international market funds. In closing, I congratulate the Government on its decision to enable the AIDC to expand its charter to assist the more non-traditional aspects of Australian industry such as the tourist industry, which really does need great assistance. I commend the Government for this decision. It is something which the Government's Caucus Industry Committee stressed very hard and I am very pleased that Senator Button, the Minister for Industry and Commerce, has included these amendments in the legislation.