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Wednesday, 16 August 1972
Page: 109


Senator WEBSTER asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice:

(1)   Did a director of Woodside Oil N.L. make public his view that the merger of the interests of Woodside Oil N.L. and Mid Eastern Oil N.L. was a sell-out to overseas interests of great Australian natural resources, and, indeed, a sell-out of the last vestige of Australian control of the oil and gas leases on the north-west continental shelf.

(2)   Is the director's statement true.

(3)   Will the Prime Minister give an assurance that the situation so described will not be permitted.

(4)   Does control of Australia's natural resources remain with the Australian Government.


Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSON The Prime Minister has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   I am aware that a director's views on these matters were made widely known.

(2)   , (3) and (4) The Commonwealth, in association with the Western Australian Government, had discussions with the companies involved in this proposed merger and was assured not only that there would be substantial Australian equity in the new company, but also that the board of Woodside-Burmah was, and would remain, predominantly Australian. On the general question of overseas investment in Australia I refer to the statement made by the Treasurer on 16th May 1972 (Hansard, p. 2534).







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