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Friday, 5 December 1986
Page: 3575

(Question No. 1428)


Senator Kilgariff asked the Minister representing the Minister for Territories, upon notice, on 14 October 1986:

(1) Are there any phosphate rich areas of Christmas Island which are not yet mined but which are considered to be of a sufficiently high quality phosphate to be mined; if so, what is the life expectancy for mining of these areas.

(2) Do these new potential mining areas include areas which are environmentally protected.


Senator Gietzelt —The Minister for Territories has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Yes; 3-4 years.

(2) All uncleared tracts of rainforest on Christmas Island have environmental value recognised by the 1984-1990 Rainforest Clearing Agreement between the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service (ANPWS) and the Phosphate Mining Corporation of Christmas Island. This Agreement defines those areas within which clearing may occur and totally excludes many areas of highly sensitive and endangered species habitat. All clearing plans must be submitted to ANPWS for full environmental consideration and approval before they can be implemented.