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Born-again Bula

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"BORN-AGAIN BULA" The Coronation Hill consortium only proceeded with work on the site after receiving a written guarantee from the Prime Minister that there were no environmental barriers to the development - raising questions about the Government's liability for

compensation following last night's Cabinet decision.

Mr Hawke assured the then BHP Managing Director (Brian Loton) on 9th October 1987, that the boundaries of the Conservation Zone would not change, and in reliance on this undertaking the

consortium spent some million evaluating the area. \*r The Prime Minister's letter said:

"I can assure you that there has been no change to

Government policy on the Conservation Zone concept or in relation to Coronation Hill" (see attached copy).

It is clear that the Prime Minister's guarantee exposes this Government to a massive compensation claim from the joint venture partners whose property has now been expropriated.

The Coronation Hill project would have represented export income of $500 million a year, and would have provided some 600 jobs.

Last night we witnessed yet another act of economic vandalism perpetrated on every Australian by a pusillanimous little Prime Minister showing yet again how incapable he is of keeping his word.

The Labor Government's decision to prevent mining of the

Coronation Hill site is a total disgrace, born from a deal

between a failing Prime Minister and his new bovver boys from the Socialist Left.

Assurances from the Prime Minister or his Government now mean nothing.

The nation is in the grip of a recession, we desperately need to enhance our standard of living, but what much needed new resource developments will be brought on stream after a decision like this?



We see history repeating itself with Coronation Hill, Wesley Vale and the crazy "three-mine" uranium policy - the cost to Australia is some $1,000 million a year.

Locked up at Coronation Hill are not just a medium size gold deposit, but also Australia's only substantial resources of palladium and platinum. It is ironic that platinum and palladium are used, among other things, to help cut car exhaust emissions;

and that Australia spends some $40 million a year importing these metals from South Africa.

The project has the potential to employ many people during the development phase, with considerably more jobs created from the flow-on effects. Export or import replacements earnings would have been in the order of $62 million a year, with an additional

$43 million generated by the multiplier effect.

The losers will not only be the Jawoyn people who are deprived of the opportunity to negotiate with the current Joint Venturers. This decision consigns the Jawoyn, many of whom approve of the mining and would have gained employment at the site, to continued


The losers will be the people of the Northern Territory, along with every man, woman and child across this nation.

This is a decision made purely to suit the cynical expedience of a self proclaimed agnostic who suddenly finds a new alter on which to sacrifice the nations future.

CONTACT: Senator Parer (06) 277 3670

[Prime Minister's letter to the Managing Director of Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited, dated 9th October 1987, at

Attachment A] .

Prime Minister


Mr B T Loton Managing Director :he Broken Hill Proprietory Co Ltd QPO Box 86A MELBOURNE VIC 3001

- e OCX 1987

Dear Mp'^Goton

Thartx you for your .telexes of 21 and 25 September 1987 concerning exploration and mining In the Kakadu Stage III Conservation Zone.

As you know, when we announced on 5 June that formal ^declaration of Kakadu Stage III and the Conservation zone would proceed-, Tfii-'Coverftment .indicated that some realignment of the Conservation Zone boundaries would be required to ta~ke

account of further geological Information and to^corxect minor anomalies. ‘ We 'undertook to~~consult various interests, iTiclud ing"~the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), about possible boundary changes, y 1 •v­

A proposal to adjust the Conservation Zone boundaries, which took into account views expressed by fiHP representatives, was j subsequently developed by Commonwealth Departments and discussed with the Northern Territory Department.of Mines, v, the ACF, and, I understand. Informally with BHP staff. The

megting between myself, and the Minister's for primary industries and Energy, Resources, Aboriginal Affairs, Environment and,_the_ Arts f and the ACF on 24 September was ~ pi* simply an^lnfo rmal discua.sioiT>of the 'ftCF’ff submission on that

proposal and of Ehe mining^Tndustry, enviconmenial arid aboriginal interests affected. It was agreed that in view of the complexity of the issues .further. consultation wtth_the 1 aboriginal people was required.

I have asked the Ministers foe Primary industries and Energy, J the Hon John Kerin, Aboriginal Affairs, the Hon Gerard Hand, V and the Environment and the Arts, senator the Hon Graham J Richardson, to work together to firm up a proposal for the

realignment of the Conservation Zone boundaries takij^in^to a<^offnF"'£fiirjyarioua mt'ar8sts"af tected. I wouldTfibpe that realignment o l the TioundairΙόό would” be capable of resolution by the end of this year. " " "

• g . :>'■

i'· ' ! ,

I can assure you that there has been t>o change in Government policy on the Conservation Zone concept or fro relation golTonation Hill. Unfortunately due'to other commitments and overseas travel I am unable to meet_you to discuss these

issues in the near future, i eugge’ st"'that In the first instance you take uifliHe points you wish to raise with the relevant portfolio Ministers and that, if necessary, we meet somewhat later in the year. Mr Kerin will be overseas until 17 October and you may wish to arrange a meeting with him after his return,

I have sent a copy of this letter to Mr keriri, Mr Hand and Senator Richardson for their information.

Yours sincerely

Έιί-ΑR J h Hawke