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Thursday, 24 October 1974
Page: 1927


Senator MELZER (VICTORIA) - I direct my question to the Minister for Agriculture. In March 1 973 the Prime Minister announced an inquiry at Australian Government level into the problems of salinity affecting the Murray River and its environs. Can the Minister inform the Senate of the outcome of that inquiry and of the action that the Government proposes taking on this matter?


Senator WRIEDT (TASMANIA) (Minister for Agriculture) -The Prime Minister met the Premiers of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, the 3 States involved, in March last year. I understand that discussions were held about the powers of the River Murray Commission. A working party was established for the purpose of determining its powers. The working party was to report to a group of Ministers representing the 4 governments. I understand that not a great deal of headway has been made although one report concerning water quality has been presented so far. It is my understanding that it is necessary first to establish the technical needs of the commission before an assessment can be made as to extending its powers. I understand that this is where there has been a slowing down and the progress which was originally anticipated has not been made. I cannot give the honourable senator any further information at the moment. If any further information is available from the Prime Minister I will refer it to the honourable senator.







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