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Tuesday, 19 June 2007
Page: 154


Senator Siewert asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, upon notice, on 8 December 2006:

With reference to the proposed clearing of regrowth rainforest at Field 28, North West Point on Christmas Island for phosphate mining:

(1)   Is this activity exempt from the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 as a consequence of the leases being approved prior to the Act coming into force.

(2)   Did Christmas Island Phosphates/Phosphate Resources Limited have to notify the Minister of their plans which will impact on the critically-endangered Christmas Island pipistrelle bat.

(3)   Does the Minister have the power under the Act to declare this a controlled action; if so, does the Minister intend to declare this a controlled action; if not, why not.


Senator Abetz (Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation) —The Minister for the Environment and Water Resources has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   No. However if the proponent proposes to undertake an activity that may kill, injure, take, trade, keep or move a member of a listed species in or on a Commonwealth area, a permit will be required under Part 13 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

(3)   No.