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Tuesday, 6 December 1983
Page: 3246

Mr HUNT —Is the Minister for Health aware that his Department has decided that quarantine waste from overseas aircraft and ships is no longer to be disposed of as soon as possible after unloading in Australia? Is he also aware that this waste is now to be transported overland to major disposal facilities or to be dumped at sea? Can the Minister assure the House and the primary producers of Australia that quarantine waste will be safe in all circumstances; for example, if the transporting vehicle is involved in a major road accident? Where will quarantine waste from overseas aircraft landing at Alice Springs be transported for disposal? Will the Minister ensure that the National Health and Medical Research Council approves the new method of quarantine waste disposal?

Dr BLEWETT —The changes that have been made in quarantine disposal have been the result of very thorough investigation and assessment. We are convinced that the new forms of disposal adequately safeguard the interests of the rural producers of this country. In relation to the specific point about the disposal of aircraft waste in Alice Springs, I will try to get a specific answer for the honourable member.