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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 102

(Question No. 4969)

Mr Milton asked the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, upon notice, on 27 November 1986:

(1) What action has been taken or will be taken to protect the safety and health of Aborigines at Tennant Creek, NT. in light of the NT government's proposals to build a toxic waste dump near the town.

(2) Is he able to say what stage the proposals have reached.

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

(1) There are two organisations in Tennant Creek representing the interests of Aboriginals resident in the town and nearby communities, Julalikari Council and Jurnkurrakur Outstation Resource Centre. Both organisations are actively involved in expressing Aboriginal opinion in respect of the proposed toxic waste dump.

In addition, the resources of the Central Land Council are involved due to the likelihood of effluent from the high temperative incinerator (dioxins, etc) being carried over and deposited on land held by the Karlantijpu Land Trusts.

To date there have been no requests from any of these organisations for specific assistance on this issue. Departmental officers in Tennant Creek are maintaining a watching brief and are available to assist those groups should they request it.

(2) I understand that the NT Government is currently awaiting completion of a feasibility study on the proposal being prepared by Bechtel International. Should this report be favourable it is believed the NT will circulate the study to potential contractors. The successful tenderer will then be required to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement which should be subject to public srutiny and comment.