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Wednesday, 3 November 1976

Mr MALCOLM FRASER -The Government takes the provisions of that Act very seriously. I have noted the part of the first report of the Ranger inquiry mentioned by the honourable member. I have been somewhat disturbed to see it because I know the Government for its part had gone out of its way to make quite certain that His Honor Mr Justice Fox had all the information he wanted from Government sources and Government personnel. If there is any doubt in any government department or amongst any government services about the Government's attitude to the Environmental Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act, perhaps this answer to the honourable gentleman's question can be taken as dispelling that doubt. We believe that the provisions of that Act should be carried out and that information that properly should be made available, whether publicly or otherwise, ought to be made available to appropriate inquiries so that proper judgments can be reached. I believe that if there were any difficulty in relation to this past inquiry- I use the word past' only in relation to the first report- it was a temporary one. I also believe that the inquiry was quite able to get over whatever temporary difficulties it might have felt were in its way. I do not think that that would have inhibited anything the Commission wanted to say in its report. I quite agree with the substance or the thrust of the honourable gentleman's question. These matters ought to be taken seriously and dealt with seriously in the spirit in which they are meant.

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