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Wednesday, 5 December 1973

Senator CAVANAGH - This question was asked last week and I have discussed it with the Minister. He advises me that the Premier of New South Wales wrote to the Prime Minister last month about this question. The Premier suggested that negotiations should start now on the handing over of land occupied by the Australian Government in a number of areas around the foreshores of Sydney. The Australian Government has been concerned for some time that land should be made available as a Sydney Harbour national park and is quite prepared to undertake negotiations with the New South Wales Government. I believe that the Deputy Prime Minister reported yesterday in answer to a question in another place that a number of Ministers and their Departments were involved in this question and were making a co-ordinated approach to respond to the Premier's letter. I am informed that Bantry Bay is an important area in any future discussions between the Australian Government and the State Government but the Australian Government would not treat the area in isolation from other areas. There are a number of areas in Sydney which could be considered for national parks, for conservation or for other uses desired by the Australian Government. We want to discuss all these questions with the New South Wales Government on an inter-government basis.

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