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Thursday, 4 October 1984
Page: 1215


Senator BUTTON —Earlier today in Question Time Senator Mason asked me a question regarding a letter sent on 12 September by the Prime Minister to the Premier of Queensland concerning the Daintree Rainforest and its nomination as a World Heritage List area. I undertook to obtain further information for Senator Mason. I give such information as is now available.

The Government has received the Australian Heritage Commission's report evaluating the international significance of the Daintree region and recommending nomination of the area for a world heritage listing. The report is being considered. The Commonwealth, however, will not take unilateral action to nominate the region for listing. The Prime Minister has called on the Queensland Government to explore with the Commonwealth ways to achieve the long term protection of this area. The Commonwealth has offered financial assistance for a land resource survey of the region and has indicated its preparedness to provide immediate assistance to develop a management plan for the greater Daintree area.

The Queensland Government has rejected both these proposals, maintaining that the control and management of the area is a State responsibility. The Government will consider the matter in the light of the Queensland Government's decision which was indicated to the Commonwealth Government in a letter from the Premier of Queensland dated 25 September 1984.