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Thursday, 17 August 1972
Page: 157

Senator MCAULIFFE (QUEENSLAND) - My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Shipping and Transport. Has the Government refused to make credit available for ship construction as is done by the majority of other maritime nations? Is it a fact that Japanese shipyards offer credit for an 8-year period at 5.5 per cent interest and that similar arrangements can be made in Spain, Sweden, the Philippines, France, Denmark, Italy and Germany? Is he aware that the Evans Deakin Brisbane shipyard had an inquiry from Yugoslav shipowners for the construction of 6 bulk carriers and 2 large tankers but was unable to tender because the owners required 80 per cent credit at 6.75 per cent interest? Will the Minister investigate the position and advise what action he proposes to take to enable Australian shipbuilders to compete against foreign shipyards that have that facility and thus orotect the jobs of thousands of Australians?

Senator COTTON - I am not aware of the facts stated by the honourable senator although they are of great interest to me. They rest substantially on the proposition that some facility for long term credit should be made available to ship constructors in this country to finance buyers outside this country. That is fundamentally a Treasury banking matter but I shall direct it to the Minister for Shipping and Transport who can take it from there.

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