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Thursday, 29 November 1973
Page: 4074

Mr HUNT (GWYDIR, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Minister for Overseas Trade.

Mr SPEAKER -Order! I am sorry. The Minister is not present in the chamber.

Mr HUNT - May I direct it to the Prime Minister?

Mr SPEAKER -The Prime Minister also is not present in the chamber. It is possible that if the Prime Minister had known that the honourable member intended to ask a question of him he would have been present.

Mr Snedden - Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister informed me that he would be out of the chamber for a while. I know that there was a good reason for his leaving the chamber.

Mr HUNT - May I direct my question to the Treasurer?

Mr SPEAKER - The honourable member has had 2 picks so far. Does he want another one?

Mr HUNT - I have not asked the question yet.

Mr SPEAKER - The honourable member may address his question to the Treasurer.

Mr HUNT - My question is directed to the Treasurer. In view of the fact that the Australian Industry Development Corporation was initially allocated $50m, giving it a borrowing right of up to $200m, and in view of the fact that it was indicated by the former Government that an additional S50m would be made available to it, providing it with a total borrowing entitlement of S400m on the home money market and on the overseas money market, why have the Government and the Treasury not funded the AIDC to enable it to have the funds that it requires to assist in its program?

Mr CREAN - Firstly, the AIDC does not come within my portfolio.

Mr Sinclair - No, but you are interested, Frank.

Mr CREAN - Yes, I am interested, and 1 hope everybody is. The AIDC was set up by an Act passed by the previous Government. As my colleague, the Minister for Overseas Trade, fully indicated yesterday, the AIDC has certain problems now because it was sought to amend the Act and to extend the Corporation's powers quite widely, and the enabling Bill passed through this House but is held up in another place. I understand that it has now been referred to a committee for investigation. As the Minister indicated yesterday, quite a number of projects have been entered into involving the use of the available funds, and in terms of the present funds and future commitments it requires more finance to enable it to expand. I suggest that the honourable member read in detail in yesterday's Hansard the full answer the Minister gave to the question yesterday.

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