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Tuesday, 25 September 1973
Page: 1503


Mr Lynch asked the Minister for the Environment and Conservation, upon notice:

(1)   What action has the Government taken to enact treaties to protect species of wildlife inhabiting international waters or those which migrate from one country to another.

(2)   When does he expect to complete negotiations with Japan on a treaty to protect migratory birds.


Dr Cass (MARIBYRNONG, VICTORIA) (Minister for the Environment and Conservation) - The answer to the honourable member's questions is as follows:

(1)   An Australian Delegation led by the Secretary of my Department, Dr D. F. McMichael, attended the Plenipotentiary Conference to Conclude an Internationa! Convention on Trade in Certain Species of Wildlife in Washington D.C. early this year. The Australian Government has agreed to sign the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which resulted from this conference, and to effect ratification subject to any necessary reservations on completion of legislative and administrative arrangements.

This Convention includes special provisions relating to species taken in the marine environment not under the jurisdiction of any State. It should be noted of course that the Convention covers more than 'wildlife inhabiting international waters or those which migrate from one country to another' and is designed to conserve all species of wild animals and plants threatened by international trade.

I have also asked my Department to examine in consultation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and other relevant Australian Government Departments and agencies the desirability of having treaties with other countries on various aspects of nature conservation.

(2)   The Japanese proposal for a treaty has been considered and it is expected that such a treaty would result in a worthwhile contribution to the Conservation of the birds in Australia and Japan and" extend the opportunities for the development of ornithological science in the two countries.

The Australian and Japanese authorities are considering the terms of a treaty and it is expected that a broad measure of agreement will be reached on the terms of a treaty in the near future. However, it may take some time to complete a list of the species of birds to be protected by the agreement.

Bureau of Environmental Studies (Question No. 939)


Mr Wilson asked the Minister for the

Environment and Conservation, upon notice:

(1)   Has his Department set up a Bureau of Environmental Studies.

(2)   If so, fa) what are its responsibilities, (b) who is the head of the Bureau and (c) how many people are on its staff.


Dr Cass - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   and (2) No. However, the Government has g iven approval to the creation of a Bureau of Environmental Studies within my Department. The Public Service Board will be consulted on the establishment and personnel of the Bureau. The prime purpose of the Bureau will be to build up a corps of officers who will study environmental problems in a multi-disciplinary fashion. It would stimulate research into problems which currently are not the province of any existing agency and will co-ordinate and integrate research into the various social, biological and physical aspects of the total environment. The Bureau will work in close co-operation with existing research agencies.

Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies (Question No. 940)


Mr Wilson asked the Minister for the

Environment and Conservation, upon notice:

Is he able to say whether there is a Centre of Research of the Environment.

(2)   If so, (a) what are its responsibilities, (b) who is the head of this Centre and (c) how many people are on its staff.


Dr Cass - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   No. However, the honourable member may be referring to the Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies at the Australian National University.

(2)   In the event that the honourable member is referring to the ANU Centre, I will make available to him a copy of an article in the Australian National University News, July 1973, Vol. 8, No. 2, which was written by the Director of the Centre, Professor Frank Fenner and which outlines the plans for the Centre.







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