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Wednesday, 25 March 1987
Page: 1293


Senator ROBERTSON —Is the Minister for Resources and Energy aware of a report in the Northern Territory newspaper the Sunday Territorian of 22 March which alleged the existence of a sweetheart deal between the Commonwealth and Western Australian governments to allow the development of a uranium deposit in Western Australia?


Senator GARETH EVANS —I am aware of the report which relates to the discovery of uranium by Conzinc Riotinto of Australia Ltd known as the Kintyre deposit in Western Australia. CRA has undertaken exploration for minerals in an area 300 kilometres south-east of Marble Bar under an exploration permit issued by the Western Australian Government. The company has reported the discovery of uranium mineralisation to the Commonwealth's Bureau of Mineral Resources as is required by law. The article in the Sunday Territorian of 22 March makes a wild and totally false assertion that there exists a sweetheart deal between the two governments to allow development of the mine to proceed in contravention of the Commonwealth's-and the Labor Party's-three mines policy. I make it absolutely clear that there is no such deal. Both the Western Australian Government and CRA have discussed their interests in this deposit with me but I have made it clear-and they understand and accept this-that under the Government's uranium policy the Kintyre deposit cannot proceed to development. As I have told the Senate on several occasions, the three mines policy remains quite firm and there is no proposal to alter that policy.