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Monday, 4 June 1984
Page: 2403

Senator COOK —My question is addressed to the Minister for Resources and Energy. I refer the Minister to comments that he made last Thursday, namely, that he expected to be able to table today both Dr Symonds's chronology of the British atomic tests program in Australia and the report of Professor Kerr's expert committee on the fallout consequences of those tests. I ask the Minister: Can he now advise the Senate more definitely of the likely timing of the tabling of those reports?

Senator WALSH —There are no problems about tabling the report of Professor Kerr's committee, but I do not propose to do so today because I want to table the two reports together. I had stated earlier my intention to table both the reports today, but that would not be appropriate because some material which had been intended for inclusion in Dr Symonds's chronological summary has been derived from classified British documents which Australian officials were given access to earlier this year. The United Kingdom has objected to the inclusion of some of that material. Negotiations are continuing. The material in question is not the type which has any relevance to the health or safety of Australians, be they service personnel, civilian personnel or Aborigines who were in the area at the time.