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Wednesday, 26 April 1972
Page: 1329

Senator POKE (TASMANIA) - My question is addressed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. If the Government is sincere about keeping Australian control of our land resources, will it take urgent action against the proposed sale of over 1,200 square miles of the Northern Territory by Gunn Development Pty Ltd, the family company of Sir William Gunn? Will the Government ask the Senate Select Committee on Foreign Ownership and

Control to give this matter high priority as newspaper reports state that although the area will be offered first to Australian buyers the prospectus is aimed heavily at American investors by using an illustration showing small American flags indicating which parts of the Territory are already owned by Americans?

The PRESIDENT - Order! Senator Poke, you are giving information. Ask your question.

Senator POKE - Will the Government also inquire into whether Sir William Gunn, as a board member of the Reserve Bank of Australia, as Chairman of the Australian Wool Board and as a member of the International Wool Secretariat and the Australian Wool Bureau, is unscrupulously using his position of power to act as a salesman of Australia's heritage?


I deprecate, and I am sure everybody deprecates, the language in which the question is couched. I choose to ignore it. I hope that everybody will forget that it was said. No honourable senator under privilege should imply things in respect of the character of any person, particularly a person who has given public service of the nature of the service given by the person who was mentioned. If the honourable senator places the first part of his question on notice I shall refer it to the Minister for Primary Industry.

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