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Notice given 27 August 2001

3855  Senator Bourne: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—With reference to the announcement that BHP is expected to quit Ok Tedi:

(1) Is the Minister aware that BHP has still evidently not made any commitment to cleaning up, rehabilitation, restoration or repairing the damage created by the Ok Tedi mine.

(2) Does the Minister realise that if the Ok Tedi mine was located within Australia, rather than in Papua New Guinea, BHP would be liable for cleaning up, rehabilitation, restoration and repairing the damage caused to the environment, including to farming lands and fisheries.

(3) Does the Minister agree that it is time for all Australian companies that operate overseas to be bound by Australian law for environmental, human rights, industrial and other protections, and does he further agree that enforcing such legal obligations not only promotes Australia’s international reputation but will also set new international standards which have positive long-term outcomes.