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ENVIRONMENT—WESTERN AUSTRALIA—HAMELIN POOL

Senator Siewert amended general business notice of motion no. 760 by leave and, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved—That the Senate—

 (a) notes that:

  (i) stromatolites are the oldest living organisms in the world,

  (ii) Western Australia's Hamelin Pool contains the most diverse range of stromatolites in the world, is one of only three places on Earth where you can see living marine stromatolites, and these stromatolites are one of the major reasons for Shark Bay's World Heritage Listing, and

  (iii) the recent decision by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, to allow American researchers to cut down and remove 45 stromatolites from Hamelin Pool, would have a significant impact on the heritage values of the area if carried out; and

 (b) calls on the Government to reassess this decision as a matter of urgency and prevent this or any other removal of stromatolites from going ahead unless and until there is greater transparency and justification for both the purpose of the research and the need for such a large quantity of samples.

Question put and passed.