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Wednesday, 11 October 1972
Page: 1435

Senator MULVIHILL (New South Wales) - I do not want to engage in a filibuster, but I find myself adopting the stance so often adopted by my illustrious colleague Senator Cavanagh on such issues - that is, to dot every 'i' and cross every 'f, because the aftermath is so important. I shall briefly pursue this debate which I think has been quite exhilarating. When one studies in written form what the Minister for Civil Aviation (Senator Cotton) has said, one probably will have a more clearcut reaction to it. However, this is what I want to know from the Minister - and he is aware that I am now speaking on the Boyd Plateau issue: Should there be a stay of proceedings until February as a result of the outcome of the New South Wales State Government's feasibility study, whatever it may be, am I to understand that when this Bill is passed today the die will be cast and it will not be impossible in February, if the day is lost by the conservationists - and 1 certainly hope it will not be - for those involved to approach the Minister for the Environment, Aborigines and the Arts (Mr Howson) or, conversely to come back to the Minister for National Development (Sir Reginald Swartz) for Commonwealth intervention? I have just realised that I am talking about incidents that will not occur for some months and that there may be other Ministers holding these portfolios. Therefore, let me deal with the subject on an academic level. Could the Minister clear up finally for me and the conservation group, which will be studying avidly the Hansard report of the debate, whether there will be any avenue at the Commonwealth level by which a final plea can be made? Let me put it this way: Just as Mr Justice Moore played a vital role in the recent oil dispute, will there be a Mr Justice Moore at the Commonwealth level to save the Boyd Plateau?

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