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Tuesday, 16 February 1971
Page: 18

Mr STEWART (LANG, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Minister for National Development. In view of the announced intention of the Prime Minister to curtail expenditure in the public sector of the economy, does the Government intend at this stage to continue with the construction of the costly and economically doubtful nuclear reactor at Jervis Bay?

Mr SWARTZ - I am glad the honourable member raised this matter because it is quite important. I am sure he raised it in a constructive way. The position is that after the announcement had been made about Government policy relating to this station some time ago. arrangements were made to commence the site preparation and service work. As the honourable member will know, there was an allocation in the Budget for this year for certain expenditure for services and for site preparation. That work is under way at the moment. In accordance with the previous intention of the Government, tenders were called for the construction of a nuclear power station at Jervis Bay. A team of consultants is assisting the Austraiian Atomic Energy Commission to examine those tenders.

When that examination is completed a recommendation is to be made to me as to the type of station to be considered by the Government 1 indicated today that I expect to receive the recommendation from the Commission about the end of this week. I indicated also that it will take me some weeks before I can complete my studies of the matter Then it is a matter of Government policy as to when or how the work on the station is to commence, ft will be some weeks before the matter can go forward to the Government for consideration. The Prime Minister has announced the Government's policy in relation to this financial year. This matter would be included in considerations for the next financial year and it will have to vie with other matters submitted at that time, lt will then be considered in the light of Government policy.

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