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Tuesday, 30 May 1972
Page: 2305

Senator WRIEDT (TASMANIA) asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice:

(1)   In view of the answer given by the Minister for Civil Aviation to a Question by Senator Willesee on 21st March 1972, is the Senate to understand that the Government is not concerned by the recent purchase of shares by Thomas Nationwide Transport Ltd in Ansett Transport Industries Ltd.

(2)   Is the Prime Minister aware that the Managing Director of Thomas Nationwide Transport Ltd when giving evidence to the Senate Standing Committee on Primary and Secondary Industry and Trade, described his company as being 'aggressive' and 'expanding'.

(3)   in view of Thomas Nationwide Transport Ltd's dramatic expansion in recent years, will the Prime Minister prepare a paper on the ownership and operation of Australia's transport industries for presentation to the Parliament.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) (Minister for Air) The Prime Minister has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   The honourable senator will be aware that since he placed his question on the Notice Paper, there have been many developments in this matter, culminating in an announcement by the chairman of Thomas Nationwide Transport Ltd that his company's directors had resolved not to proceed with the proposed takeover of Ansett Transport Industries Ltd. As to the Government's position I would refer the honourable senator to the answer I gave to a question in Parliament on 1 1th April 1972 (Hansard page 1398).

(2)   I have not made a detailed study of the transcripts of the committee on this specific point.

(3)   It is not considered that a case has been made for a study along the lines suggested. The honourable senator will of course be aware of the tabling of the Report of the Standing Committee on Industry and Trade on the proposed takeover of Ansett Transport Industries Ltd by Thomas Nationwide Transport Ltd and of the adjourned debate on this matter.

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