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Thursday, 24 February 1977
Page: 514

Dr Klugman asked the Minister representing the Minister for Science, upon notice:

Will the Minister make experts from the Australian Atomic Energy Commission and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation available to participate in the public debate on the mining of uranium to help fulfil the recommendation in the Fox Report.

Mr Adermann -The Minister for Science has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

The Australian Atomic Energy Commission is the responsibility of my colleague, the Minister for National Resources, to whom the relevant part of the question should be directed.

One of the recommendations of the Fox Report was that there should be ample time for public consideration of this Report, and for debate upon it. To this end it recommended that no decision be taken in relation to its other recommendations until a reasonable time has elapsed and there has been an opportunity for the usual democratic processes to function, including, in this respect, parliamentary debate.

The emphasis in this recommendation is on the provision of reasonable time to allow public debate to take place; not that a public debate should be arranged. CSIRO is always available to comment on matters in which it has particular expertise and there are no restrictions on its officers participating in public debate as private citizens.

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