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Thursday, 24 February 1977
Page: 414

Mr SULLIVAN (RIVERINA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I direct my question to the Minister representing the Minister for Science. The disease known commonly as eucalyptus dieback is currently ravaging many of the forest lands in practically every State in Australia. Is the Minister aware of the potential for disaster to Australia's natural forests inherent in this disease? If so, will he inform the House what action he proposes to take in order to assist the States in bringing this disease under control?

Mr ADERMANN (FISHER, QUEENSLAND) (Minister Assisting the Minister for National Resources) - In view of my colleague's concern about eucalyptus dieback it is quite fortuitous that I discussed this matter with my colleague the Minister for Science. He informs me that eucalyptus dieback involves the death of the crown and probably the whole tree. It occurs sporadically in most forests but in recent years the extent and frequency of death have reached very high levels. That is consistent with what the honourable member has said. I have a detailed paper on the incidence of eucalyptus dieback and the measures that have been taken in the various States. These details I think are too long and involved to be given at question time. I will be happy to pass them on to my colleague. I understand that no practical control measures have yet been demonstrated, but the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation is very active in this field.

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