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Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Page: 1006

Senator LUDLAM (Western Australia) (13:43): I must admit I did not think this debate was going to throw up anything new at all, but I have been surprised. If the minister is proposing that I delay moving and voting on that amendment for the time being while he seeks that advice, I am certainly happy to do so. I think what you have told us is consistent with the advice you had yesterday: that the minister has not visited Tennant Creek and has not met with the litigants. In terms of the named applicants it is my understanding—this is obviously not a dispute that I am a party to—that there are only a small number of individuals. My question goes more generally. Since late 2007, when the minister took up this portfolio, has he met with anybody at all who disagrees with the Muckaty nomination whether or not they are party to the legal dispute?

Senator Chris Evans: I am sorry, Senator Ludlam, I was speaking to the advisers and I got distracted.

Senator LUDLAM: The minister is simply dealing with the cards that have been dealt by a minister across in the other place who probably would not be giving me nearly the time of day that you are, so I will repeat the question. Recognising that the number of named applicants to the dispute in the Federal Court is relatively small, they are there representing a much larger number of people. You have told us the minister has not met with the litigants themselves. In the entire time that he has held this portfolio, since late 2007, has he met with anybody at all who opposes the radioactive waste dump at Muckaty?