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Oil Explorers Forced to Back Down on PMA Bill

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Statement bv the leader of the Country Fajrtys Nr. Anthony . i ' ' ' 1 The Australian oil searcJ \ industry) has’ been brought to its knees by the Minister for Minerals and Energy, Mr. Connor.

Mr. Connor has· put unbearable pressure oh.the explorers,

forcing them to accept his all-powerful Petroleum and Minerals

Authority plan against their will. . '

No one can blame the exploration companies for badking down Ύ ■

in the face of Mr. Connor’s immovable attitude, nor for trying to i . : .

put the best possible face on their change of mind. ’ V.

The explorers have realised that they have to live with the

Government, and that unless they come to terms with it they will be squeezed out of existence.

Already the oil search program is in a disastrous state.

Explorers now see surrender to Mr. Connor as the only way of

getting some exploration going again. · ·

I can understand the comment by the chairman of the Australian

Petroleum Exploration Association (Mr. D. MeGarry) that explorers

have decided "if you can’t beat them, join them". . .

. However, Mr. McGarry's rationalisation that over 50% of

Australians voted Labor on May 18 and therefore the Bill should be supported, is quite erroneous.

Labor in fact attracted 49.3% of the votes - less than the

share of the vote it won in 1972. *

As Mr. McGarry says, the Opposition apparently does not

represent the .oil industry's view.

VThat we are trying to do is represent the interests of Australia. , . " ·