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Senator to move notion to protect exit cave



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MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR ROBERT BELL Australian Democrat Senator for Tasmania PR92\147 23^ 92 23

SENATOR TO MOVE MOTION TO PROTECT EXIT CAVE

Australian Democrat Senator for Tasmania, Robert Bell, will tomorrow give notice of a motion on Tasmania's Exit Cave system.

The motion will call on the Commonwealth Government to advise the Governor- General to proclaim the Exit Cave system to be a property to which Sections 9 and 10 of the World Heritage Properties Conservation Act 1983 applies.

Senator Bell said all the conditions for applying the full force of the Act have been met.

"The cave system has been recognised by the Commonwealth as lying within the World Heritage Area, and according to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Standing Committee as being adversely affected by past and continuing operations of a limestone quany at the cave."

As explained in the Senate to Senator Bell, "The standing committee concluded that even under the strictest environmental conditions continuation of quarrying jeopardises the area's world heritage values".

"It is now time for the Minister and the Government to act," Senator Bell said. The Act makes powers available to the Minister to close down the quarrying operation. The minister now has no alternative but to use them."

For comment; Senator Bell; 06 277 3770 06 277 3646

Motion attached.

COMMOMWEALTM f PARLiAMENTAR- ' MIC AH

TASMANIAN WORLD HERITAGE AREA - EXIT CAVE

I give notice that, oil the next day of sitting, I shall move:

That the Senate notes that: ,

1. the Commonweallth Government has recognised that Exit Cave, Australia's longest cave system, extends beneath the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area;

2. in 1988 the Commonwealth and Tasmanian Governments agreed that the operation of Bender's quany within the Exit Cave area could continue subject to acceptable limits being set on the scale and development of the operation;

3. the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Standing Committee has concluded that "even under the strictest environmental conditions continuation of quarrying jeopardises the area's World heritage values;

4. calls on the Commonwealth Government to immediately advise the Governor- General to proclaim the Exit Cave system to be a property to which Sections 9 and 10 of the World Heritage Properties Conservation Act 1983 applies;

5. calls on the Minister for the Arts, Sport, the Environment and Territories to hold the meeting of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Ministerial Council which was planned for February 29 to provide a statement on alternative quarrying operations and to initiate negotiations with Mr Bender,