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Thursday, 10 May 1984
Page: 1936

Senator COATES —I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Home Affairs and Environment: Does the Government have any information on whether the Maralinga nuclear weapons tests affected radiation levels over Tasmania at the time? Does the Government know whether the State Government has any other information from any monitoring it undertook at the time?

Senator RYAN —I have been provided with some information on the subject of Senator Coates's question by the Minister for Home Affairs and Environment. The Australian Ionising Radiation Advisory Council, in its report, AIRAC No. 9, on British nuclear tests in Australia, referred to the results of monitoring for radioactive fallout in Hobart as part of a national monitoring network established for the later series of tests. There were two occasions on which recorded radiation was attributed to tests at Maralinga. For the other five tests at Maralinga no radiation attributable to the tests was recorded by the national monitoring network stationed in Hobart. On each of the two occasions when radiation was recorded the amount was equivalent to less than one- thousandth of the national background level of radiation. I am advised by the Minister for Home Affairs and Environment that he has no information on any monitoring programs which may have been carried out by Tasmanian Government authorities in the relevant period. However, the Minister has also advised that he will take the matter up with his State counterpart, the Honourable Mr Pearsall.