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Wednesday, 8 December 1965

Mr FAIRBAIRN - It was because the Commonwealth Government did show some concern at the rate of depletion of coking coal supplies in New South Wales and Queensland that we got in touch with the Governments of those two States and arranged to hold the conference to which the honorable member referred. All we are seeking to do is to assess what these reserves are. We know that at the present moment they are very considerable. Speaking from memory, I think the known coal reserves in New South Wales are about 1,000 million tons. We believe that less than half this quantity will be required by Australia to the end of this century. Nevertheless we are anxious that a proper assessment of all the resources in New South Wales and Queensland should be made so that, after this assessment has been made, the Government may be in a position to know the correct policy it should undertake.

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