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Wednesday, 3 June 1970

Mr GORTON - Mr Speaker,I think if I may I should comment on one or two of the remarks made by the honourable member. What I believe it is essential to discover is legally who does have authority over these particular lands. I am not taking a strong stand either way, other than the stand that it is necessary for the nation to know who is legally responsible for these areas. I am not sure what the honourable member had in mind in relation to petroleum. Perhaps he was referring to the agreement which has been entered into by the Commonwealth Government and the State governments on the question of petroleum from submerged lands. If he was referring to that then he is referring to an agreement which does not settle but deliberately leaves unsettled the question of who has legal responsibility for these areas. In regard to the transference of natural gas from Melbourne to Sydney, which I believe is what the honourable member is referring to, this matter is one which should be decided by the State Government of Victoria and the State Government of New South Wales and whatever group of people they get together to build a pipeline when they decide where they want that pipeline to run.

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