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Tuesday, 10 October 1972
Page: 1392

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Aborigines and the Arts, upon notice:

(1)   Did the Minister on 26th March 1972 state that the Commonwealth will look closely at the effects on the Australian animated film industry of the establishment of an overseas company in this field.

(2)   What have been the results of this 'close look', and what action is being taken by the Commonwealth.

Senator GREENWOOD-The Minister for the Environment, Aborigines and the Arts has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   In December last year the Government requested the Treasury to undertake a comprehensive study of the effects of overseas investment in Australia. The results of this study were published in the form of a Treasury Economic Paper which was tabled in Parliament by the Treasurer on 16th May 1972. The paper analyses, from the Australian viewpoint, the principal economic issues raised by overseas investment in Australia. In so doing it provides a basis for discussion of the economic aspects of issues such as the one now raised.

The Government has in recent months been reviewing its policy in relation to overseas investment in Australia. The Prime Minister announced the Government's decisions to date arising out of that review in a statement in the House on 26th September 1972. In the course of this statement he said:

Action in the field of foreign ownership and control generally raises complex problems. We have undertaken an initial study of these problems; but their resolution will require more detailed study and further time for careful consideration. That work is now in hand. Its results will be announced as soon as practicable.'

I have had discussions with the 2 local companies and representatives of the overseas company involved. In subsequent letters to the local companies 1 referred to the Australian Film Development Corporation's statutory responsibility to encourage the making and distribution of Australian films. I understand that the Corporation is watching developments and will be reporting to me in due course.

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