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Thursday, 17 March 2005
Page: 145

Senator Brown asked the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, upon notice, on 3 February 2005:

(1)   Is there any proposal to extend mining leases or allow new mining contracts on Christmas Island; if so, can the Minister give details.

(2)   What action is the government taking to ensure the long-term protection and good management of Christmas Island’s environment, including the potential to end mining.

Senator Ian Campbell (Minister for the Environment and Heritage) —The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:

(1)   Any proposal to extend mining leases would be a matter for the Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads.

(2)   The unique environment of Christmas Island is protected by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and more than 60 percent of the Island is managed as the Christmas Island National Park. Any proposal that would affect the environment on the Island, including any mining proposal, would require referral under the EPBC Act.