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Thursday, 31 May 1984
Page: 2292


Senator WALSH (Minister for Resources and Energy)(9.33) —I am trying to remember whether in some of the statements I have made on this matter I have already effectively done that. I have an idea that I have done so but if I have not done that already I am quite willing to state publicly now that the Government invites information from anyone-service personnel, civilian personnel , government employees, contractors' employees or Aborigines -who was associated with Maralinga and the other test sites to come forward with any information that may be of use. Whether we will launch advertisements about that is something that will have to be considered, particularly in light of the decision which the Government finally makes as to whether it will establish a public inquiry and, if so, what type of public inquiry. I am told that the current Australian Radiation Laboratory survey will not be analysed for some months. It would be nice to have the results of that survey before establishing a public inquiry, if in fact the Government is going to do so. On the other hand, given that the reports from Professor Kerr's Expert Committee on Fallout Arising from British Atomic Tests in Australia and from Dr Symonds have actually been received by the Government and probably will be tabled on Monday, there is a case, if the Government does decide to establish a wider ranging public inquiry, for doing so before the radiological survey has been analysed. I have just had handed to me a Press statement relevant to Senator Sir John Carrick's question. It was issued by me on 13 April. The last sentence says:

If anyone has information which they believe to be relevant, I invite them to write to me or my Department.

So it has already been done and now I have done it again. If a wider ranging public inquiry is established, a similar invitation will be issued.