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Coronation Hill-an immensely valuable resource subjected to mis-information and government dithering



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IIM FISCHER MP Federal Member for Farrer

Leader of the National Party of Australia

Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources

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L165/91 CORONATION HILL - AN IMMENSELY VALUABLE RESOURCE

SUBJECTED TO MIS-INFORMATION AND GOVERNMENT DITHERING

The Resource Assessment Commission's (RAC) final report on the Kakadu Conservation Zone clearly states that the Coronation Hill Mine will have little impact on the environment.

This was said by Federal National Party Leader Tim Fischer in opening a Matter of Public Importance debate in the House of Representatives today.

"The RAC says 'a single mine, properly managed and monitored, would have a small and geographically limited direct impact on the known biological resources of the conservation zone'," Mr Fischer said.

"Moreover, the claim that the Coronation Hill Mine is located close to sensitive wetlands is wrong. It is more than 100km from Jim Jim Falls and a long way away from sensitive wetlands at the northern end of Kakadu National Park.

"It is time the Government acted in a clear cut way and faced a number of facts. These include the fact thati-- Mining has occurred in twelve different places in the Kakadu Conservation Zone.

- For ten years there has been mining at Coronation Hill.

- The Coronation Hill project has the potential to produce export income of at least $200 million and as much as $500 million.

- It is Australia's only known substantial resource of platinum and palladium used in anti-greenhouse gas devices.

"There is still the hurdle of Aboriginal Heritage Protection considerations. These have the potential to impact on just about every capital city in Australia, all of which are sitting on sacred sites," Mr Fischer said.

Mr Fischer concluded by saying contrary to what the Prime Minister said, it is a litmus test with the mining industry everywhere watching closely to see whether the government will stay the course. I warn that unless a decision is made, the move by Australian companies to shift off shore will greatly increase.

It is now or never, the government has received report after report on this matter and a decision must be made before we all revert to candle power and a cottage economy.

ENDS 8/5/91 I COMMON V-/EALTH

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