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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 21

(Question No. 1422)

Senator Kilgariff asked the Minister representing the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment, upon notice, on 9 October 1986:

(1) Is it intended that Professor Ovington, Director of the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, is to make a submission to the World Heritage Commission in Paris, on 20 November 1986 seeking world heritage listing for Stage II of Kakadu National Park. If so, would that submission be made in contravention of procedures agreed between Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments, which, at the July 1984 meeting of the Council of Conservation Ministers agreed that the Commonwealth would not take unilateral action to nominate areas for World Heritage listing without the agreement of the State or Territory concerned.

(2) If there is the potential for a breach of this agreement, in the Federal Government seeking World Heritage listing, will the Government reconsider its decision to nominate Stage II until full consultations with the Northern Territory Government have been conducted.

Senator Ryan —The Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) No. Mr D. A. Gillespie, Assistant Director, Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, was a member of the delegation to the World Heritage Committee meeting in Paris, 24 to 28 November 1986. At that meeting the World Heritage Committee agreed to an Australian request to defer, until further notice, the consideration of Stage 2 of Kakadu National Park as part of the Kakadu World Heritage Property already inscribed on the World Heritage List. The Australian request was made to the Committee following the tabling before the Committee of the order dated 24 November 1986 of the Hon. Mr Justice Beaumont of the Federal Court of Australia. That order resulted from legal action taken by Peko-Wallsend Limited and others against the Commonwealth.

(2) The issue of further consultation on the proposed World Heritage listing of Stage 2 of Kakadu National Park will be determined when the legal proceedings in relation to this matter have concluded.