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Wednesday, 10 October 1973
Page: 1825

Mr CREAN (Melbourne Ports) (Treasurer) - I move:

That the Bill now be read a second time.

The Commonwealth Banks Act is the third of the Australian Acts relating to banking which extend to Papua New Guinea. This Act is being amended to provide that, at a date to be determined, Papua New Guinea will be excluded from the operation of the Act. This Bill is related to the agreement outlined in my joint Press statement in April 1973 that, subject to further consideration of particular aspects, the greater part of the Papua New Guinea business of the Commonwealth Banking Corporation be transferred to a new Papua New Guinea Government Commercial Bank which is to be established. As I indicated in the paper 'Australia's External Aid 1973-74' which was presented on the occasion of my 1973-74 Budget Speech, a payment of $15m will be made to the Papua New Guinea Government in 1973-74 to facilitate the establishment of this proposed Government Commercial Bank.

Given the commercial nature of this activity, the financial assistance to be provided for this purpose will comprise a grant of $1Om and a repayable advance - the exact terms of which have yet to be determined - which is currently estimated at $5m but could vary depending upon the level of and trends in deposits and advances, etc., when final settlement occurs. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Street) adjourned.

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