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Friday, 15 June 1984
Page: 3230

(Question No. 921)

Senator Macklin asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport, upon notice, on 31 May 1984:

(1) Has the Government received, or does it expect to receive, a request by the Widgee Shire Council for assistance under the Australian Bicentennial Roads Development Program for road developments in the Cooloola National Park.

(2) Would such a request require approval from the Australian Heritage Commission because Cooloola is listed on the Register of the National Estate.

(3) Will the Government give an assurance that any request or future request will be rejected because of the damage it would cause to the National Park and because other feasible alternatives exist.

Senator Gietzelt —The Minister for Transport has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) No. Widgee Shire Council has a local road entitlement under the ABRD Program of $162,000. Two projects were approved on 12 September 1983 which fully commits this entitlement.

(2) and (3) The Minister for Transport in approving projects must ensure Commonwealth environmental and heritage requirements are met. If a project is submitted in an environmentally sensitive area (such as a National Park) which affects property listed on the Register of the National Estate, it will be approved for Federal funding only after it has been considered by the Australian Heritage Commission and the Department of Home Affairs and Environment.