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Energy royal commission needed



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CANBERRA

P R E S S R E L E A S E

THE SENATE

13 JUNE 1982

CHIRP: ENERGY ROYAL COMMISSION NEEDED

Senator Don Chipp today called for the establishment of a Joint Commonwealth/

State Royal Commission into Australia's Energy Policy, Resources and

Development.

"It is tragic that nearly a decade after OPEC first brought the "energy crisis"

to the notice of the western world, Australia is still lacking one national

energy policy," Senator Chipp said.

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"We have the ludicrous situation in this country of having up to eight

ad-hoc energy policies - one for each of the states, one so-called 'national'

policy and another determined by the multinationals in foreign board rooms.

"The need for the formulation of a truly, national energy policy through a

Royal Commission becomes apparent when the Commonwealth Government, through

the Loans Council, is prepared to allocate taxpayers' money to energy

projects without any consideration of energy use, conservation, environmental

impact or possible alternatives.

"The most blatant example of this is the possibility that Loans Council

will provide funds to dam the Franklin River in Tasmania. .

"That scheme will cost $1 billion upon completion, be funded by money from

all Australian taxpayers, destroy one of the three remaining temperate

wildernesses, and all this national vandalism will do for employment is

to provide no more than thirty permanent jobs. .

"The Democrats call upon the Federal Government to establish this Royal

Commission so that the Premiers Conference at the end of this month does

not continue its pork-barrelling behaviour with taxpayers' money.

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"It is imperative that the Federal Government freeze funds for any new

energy projects until the proposed Royal Commission reports," Senator Chipp

concluded. . .6 . .

For further information contact: Senator Chipp (02) 337 5116