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Wednesday, 11 October 1972
Page: 1494

Senator BISHOP asked the Minister representing the Minister for Supply upon notice:

(1)   Has the Government accepted in principle the absorption of the Government Aircraft Factories at Fishermen's Bend and Avalon, Victoria, into a consortium which will include foreignowned companies; if so, what will be Australia's equity.

(2)   Where Avions Marcel Dassault of France and the Boeing Company of the United States of America each offered an equity in the proposed consortium.

(3)   Did the Boeing Company decline to join the proposed consortium; if so, was the McDonnell Aircraft Company of the United States of America then invited to share in the proposed consortium.

(4)   Will the proposed consortium be finalised before the next federal election for Members of the House of Representatives.

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN- The Minister for Supply has provided the following answers to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   Various alternatives for the future operation of the Australian aircraft industry are under examination and joint discussion between the parties engaged in this industry - the Government Aircraft Factories of the Department of Supply, Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Pty Ltd, and Hawker de Havilland Pty Ltd. One possibility being examined and discussed between these parties is the formation of a consortium, including possible participation in some way by overseas aerospace interests in order to improve the future prospects of the industry. No specific outline of such a consortium has been formulated.

(2)   No. The possibility of these companies participating in such a consortium has been discussed with them in principle, without commitment on either side.

(3)   No.

(4)   No.

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