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Tuesday, 18 April 1972
Page: 1133

Senator WILKINSON (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - My question is addressed to the Attorney-General. Is it a fact that recent amendments to Companies Acts provide that the beneficial owners of nominee holdings have to declare themselves to the company which, in turn, must make this information public upon request? Is it also a fact that these amendments have been proclaimed in Victoria and New South Wales, but not in the Australian Capital Territory? In view of the fact that nominee companies hold 27.8 per cent of the shares in Thomas Nationwide Transport Ltd, a company registered in the A.C.T., will the Minister arrange for the immediate proclamation of these amendments in the A.C.T. to ensure that the Senate Standing Committee on Primary and Secondary Industry and Trade will not be hindered in performing its duty to ascertain shareholdings in the company?

Senator GREENWOOD (VICTORIA) (Attorney-General) - I assume that the particular ordinance to which the honourable senator referred is the Companies Ordinance 1971 of the Australian Capital Territory. That ordinance was made in early 1971 but it has not yet been brought into operation. It is a fact, as I understand it, that in one or two States similar legislation has been brought into operation. The reason why this ordinance has not been brought into operation in the Australian Capital Territory is that the operation of the ordinance depends upon regulations which prescribe certain forms which are quite essential to the carrying out of the purposes of the ordinance. There have been difficulties in having the regulations prepared and a further difficulty has arisen in that the ordinance, having been made, contains no provision under which regulations may be made, pending the coming into force of the ordinance. This position having been identified, steps have been taken to have an amending ordinance made so that the regulations can be made under it. Unfortunately I cannot anticipate that the ordinance and regulations will be in force within the 28 days which the Senate allotted to the Standing Committee on Primary and Secondary Industry and Trade.

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