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Wednesday, 26 November 1986
Page: 2774

Senator DURACK —I refer the Minister for Resources and Energy to his reaffirmation yesterday of the Government's intention to extend Kakadu National Park into stage 3 and its plan to `have some further extensions ready to go on the World Heritage List' in time for the World Heritage Committee meeting next year, at the latest. Does the Minister recall whether he said, during the hearings of Estimates Committee E on 18 September last, in relation to the proposed stage 3 of Kakadu National Park, that there would be:

. . . a probably greater quantitative involvement of the private sector pursuing exploration licences in the ordinary way.

Would that be part of the mineral assessment of that area which, at that stage according to Government policy, should be pursued before any further decision was made about stage 3? Is that still the policy of the Government? If not, what is now proposed to be done by the Government as far as the mineral assessment of stage 3 is concerned? Is the Minister seriously suggesting that a proper assessment of the mineral resources of proposed stage 3 can be completed in the timetable he has laid down?

Senator GARETH EVANS —If Senator Durack can curb his impatience for about two more weeks, all will be revealed.