BUSINESS REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS ESTABLISHMENT
The Hon. J. M. SAMIOS: I ask a question of the Treasurer, Minister for State Development, and Vice-President of the Executive Council. Is the Treasurer aware that Victoria has been selected as the Asia-Pacific base for the production and design of smart cards by German bank note manufacturer Giesecke and Devrient? The facility, which was launched this week, has already had more than $6 million invested in it by the German manufacturer, and a further $4 million will be invested in the next three years. Could the Treasurer advise whether any attempt was made to attract this major technology production and design company to New South Wales? Could the Treasurer further advise just what he is doing to ensure that New South Wales does not lose such important technology companies to other States?
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: I am not aware of the company to which the Hon. J. M. Samios has referred. I am interested in Australia attracting regional headquarters for the Asia-Pacific region. I am very pleased when Victoria manages to snatch one or two of those regional headquarters. I am pleased, too, when some of those headquarters go to Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart and Perth. Frankly, sometimes when I am talking to my interstate colleagues I get a little embarrassed that New South Wales is winning 64 per cent of the regional headquarters that come to Australia. New South Wales comprises only 34 per cent of the national economy and 34 per cent of the nation’s population, but it is winning 64 per cent of Asia-Pacific regional headquarters. I am sure that honourable members would be interested to know that there are some 408 regional Asia-Pacific headquarters in Australia.
The Hon. J. P. Hannaford: They are not all real manufacturing companies.
The Hon. M. R. EGAN: The Hon. J. M. Samios asked a question about Asia-Pacific regional headquarters. Perhaps the Leader of the Opposition should ensure that Opposition questions are drafted more appropriately. New South Wales has 261 of the 408 regional headquarters located in Australia - 64 per cent of them. Melbourne comes second, with 24.5 per cent of the regional headquarters. Apparently, Opposition members would like to swap Sydney’s record for Melbourne’s record. I would prefer that the record stay as it is, with New South Wales gaining three regional headquarters for every one gained by Victoria.