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Monday, 30 August 2004
Page: 26764

Senator Brown asked the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, upon notice, on 15 June 2004:

(1) Did the installation of a Telstra line on Flinders Island cause the introduction and/or spread of an exotic organism known as Cinnamon Fungus.

(2) Was the Minister advised of the line's adverse impact on the habitat of threatened species, including 40 spotted pardalotes and the Tasmanian subspecies of the wedge-tailed eagle.

(3) Given that environmental consultants went to Flinders Island during the winter of 2003 at the behest of Telstra's lawyers Blake Dawson Waldron, and that their report detailed several breaches of the Federal and Tasmanian environmental acts, and given that under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1991, Telstra is obliged to refer such breaches and probably the consultants' report to the Minister: Was the Minister advised of these breaches.

Senator Ian Campbell (Minister for the Environment and Heritage) —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) I am not aware of any information which indicates the installation caused the spread of Cinnamon Fungus in the area.

(2) No.

(3) There were no breaches of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1991.