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Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Page: 3403

Senator Abetz asked the Minister representing the Minister for Resources and Energy, upon notice, on 7 April 2010:

With reference to the answer to question no. SR-10 taken on notice during the 2009-10 supplementary Budget estimates of the Economics Legislation Committee: Given that the arcs intersect across the whole of the ‘Area of proposed AUSGEO offshore energy security program’ identified on the map, will valuable hydrocarbon resources identified on the map from seismic data surveys undertaken in the area (at a cost of $9.43 million) be at risk if Australia loses sovereignty over the Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs [islands]..

Senator Carr (Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research) —The Minister for Resources and Energy has provided the following answer to the honorable senator’s question:

Australia’s entitlements to any resources of the seabed and subsoil in the area are secured by its entitlements under Article 76 of United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, confirmed by the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in its recommendations of April 2008. As such the Department is of the view that any such resources are not at risk.