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Tuesday, 1 May 1973
Page: 1542


Mr Lynch asked the Minister for the Environment and Conservation, upon notice:

(1)   Did he fail to answer any part of my question No. 290 (Hansard, 4th April 1973, pages 1118-9); if so, why.

(2)   Will he give an assurance that future questions placed on notice will not be treated in the same manner.

(3)   Has his attention been drawn to public statements by members of the present Government made prior to 2nd December 1972, promising that the Australian Labor Party in Government would move quickly to save Lake Pedder from flooding.

(4)   What action has been taken by the Government to protect Lake Pedder.

(5)   Has the Government been provided with any cost estimates relating to Lake Pedder; if so, will he list each estimate.

(6)   Has the Government made any offer of financial assistance to the Tasmanian Government in relation to Lake Pedder.

(7)   If so, what was the (a) level of financial assistance offered and (b) nature of the response from the Tasmanian Government.

(8)   Has he made any recommendations to Cabinet concerning Lake Pedder; if so, what were the recommendations.

(9)   If not, what were his reasons for not bringing the matter to Cabinet.

(10)   What was the purpose of his visit to Lake Pedder.


Dr Cass (MARIBYRNONG, VICTORIA) (Minister for the Environment and Conservation) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   to (9) My answer outlined the action taken by the Australian Government on Lake Pedder. I would have thought that it was obvious that, as the detail of Question No. 290 relates basically to the subject of the study group inquiry, which is still being conducted, it would be preposterous for me to prejudge the study group's findings by providing a detailed reply at this time. The attempt by the honourable member to make political capital out of an environmental issue, which is of concern to many Australians and which the previous Government, of which he was a member, chose to ignore, will be recognised by conservationists throughout Australia.

I am not sure whether my attention has been drawn to all public statements by members of the present Government made prior to 2nd December 1972 on the Lake Pedder issue. My attention has been drawn to a speech by Mr Uren as the then Opposition spokesman on environmental matters in the Hobart Town Hall on 7th November in which he said inter alia: 'I would like a combined FederalState review to take place, including the Tasmanian Government, the Hydro-electric Commission, conservation groups, and all sorts of experts from the Federal level. If I cannot get a combined study, 1 will instigate an inquiry from within my own department.' In the event the Government has acted to set up an independent study group.

(10)   To see Lake Pedder.







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