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Thursday, 6 October 1983
Page: 1422

Mr McVEIGH(10.44) —On behalf of the Opposition-I know my colleague the honourable member for Dawson (Mr Braithwaite) is particularly interested in this proposal as it is very close to his electorate-I again congratulate the Government on its positive move in this area and the fact that it has moved very quickly. The Minister for Housing and Construction (Mr Hurford ) deserves congratulations for spelling out in detail the problems that have occurred and undoubtedly will occur. But I would like the Minister to take on board the deep feelings of many people who are concerned not only in the environmental area but also those who realize that the Great Barrier Reef belongs not just to Queensland and Australia but to the rest of the world.

Notwithstanding the installation of the navigational aids there could very well be further environmental risks. Enormous boats come into this area and there will be great savings in both time and costs. I would like to think that the Government will make sure that the risks will be kept to an absolute minimum and that part of the proposal, when the beacons are eventually installed, will be compulsory pilotage through the paths. We must never do anything which will set at risk this great wonder of the world-the Great Barrier Reef. I seek an assurance from the Government that, notwithstanding these initiatives, these safeguards, the matter of compulsory pilotage will also be looked at because this is a very essential part of the world heritage. I know that the Government and the Opposition are united that it must not be damaged.