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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 7

(Question No. 4395)


Mr Scott asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 20 August 1986:

(1) Has his attention been drawn to the Food Irradiation Newsletter, a joint publication of FAO and the International Atomic Energy Agency, Vol. 9, No. 2 (August 1985), which states that at a meeting in May 1985 Australia agreed to fund the transfer of food irradiation technology to local industries.

(2) What authority did the delegation have to make this commitment.

(3) Who were the Australian delegates to this meeting.

(4) How much is to be funded by (a) Australia and (b) other Governments.

(5) Will he make available a copy of the delegation's report of the meeting; if not, why not.

(6) Did the same issue of the Newsletter state there was to be another meeting in Shanghai on 7-11 April 1986 which was to be attended by government officials, scientists, food industry representatives and consumers.

(7) Was Australia represented at this meeting; if so, who were the delegates.

(8) If Australia was represented, will he make a copy of the delegation's report available.

(9) If he will not make the report available, why not.


Mr Hayden —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) and (4) The delegation had authority to make this commitment by virtue of the fact that by Executive Council decision, Australia is a party to the Agreement Establishing the Asian Regional Cooperative Project on Food Irradiation (RPFI). Under this Agreement, Australia agreed to provide a total of US$260,000 from development assistance funds over the three years of the Second Phase of the RPFI. The First Phase was funded by the Government of Japan.

(3) The Australian participants at the first Project Committee Meeting held at the AAEC Research Establishment on 13-15 May 1985 were Dr P. L. Airey and Ms P. A. Wills, both from the Isotope Division, Australian Atomic Energy Commission. Dr Airey chaired the meeting. Dr Airey and Ms Wills attended in their capacity as individual experts.

(5) There was no separate report prepared by the Australian participants at the meeting. They contributed to the official IAEA report of the meeting, a copy of which is available from my Department.

(6) Yes.

(7) The article refers to a joint FAO/IAEA Seminar for Asia and the Pacific on the Practical Application of Food Irradiation, which was held in Shanghai on 7-11 April 1986, and to a tentative arrangement for the second Project Committee Meeting to be held in Shanghai following this Seminar. The second Project Committee Meeting was in fact held in Hangzhou on 14-15 April and was attended by Ms P. A. Wills from the AAEC. Aside from Ms Wills, the Shanghai seminar was also attended by Dr G. C. de Cean, Director, Food Administration Section, Commonwealth Department of Health and Mr M. Izard, Isotope Division, AAEC.

(8) and (9) There was no separate report prepared by the Australian participants at the meeting. They contributed to the official IAEA report of the meeting, a copy of which is available from my Department.