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Tuesday, 26 October 1971
Page: 2556

Mr Whitlam asked the Minister for Shipping and Transport, upon notice:

(1)   What were the names and portfolios of the Ministers who in Perth on 24th September 1971 held the meeting postponed from 4th February 1971 to consider recommendations of officials on future port development (Hansard, 13th May 1970, page 2117; 4th September 1970, page 1081; 20th April 1971, page 1744; and 24th August page 657).

(2)   What requests or suggestions were made by the Ministers for legislative or administrative action by (a) the United Kingdom (Hansard, 26th August 1970, page 566), (b) the Commonwealth, (c) the Territories, and (d) the States.

(3)   Did the Ministers discuss the simplification or co-ordination of tbe present administration of Australia's ports by 33 different departments, authorities, boards and trusts and 3 different companies (Hansard, 16th November 1965, page 2798 and 15th May 1969, page 1932); if so, with what result.

(4)   Which of the conventions listed in questions Nos 3268-71 which he answered on 6th May 1971 (Hansard, pages 2853-4) were considered at the meeting and with what result.

Mr Hunt - As Acting Minister I supply the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   Ministers who met in Perth on 24th September were:

The Honourable P. J. Nixon, M.P. (Chairman)

Minister for Shipping and Transport, Commonwealth of Australia

The Honourable Davis Hughes, M.L.A.,

Minister for Public Works, New South Wales

The Honourable M. Byrne, M.L.C.,

Minister of Public Works, Victoria

The Honourable N. T. E. Hewitt, M.M., M.L.A.,

Minister for Conservation, Marine and Aboriginal Affairs, Queensland

The Honourable J. D. Corcoran, M.H.A.,

Deputy Premier, Minister of Works and Minister of Marine, South Australia

The Honourable C. J. Jamieson, M.L.A.,

Minister for Works, Water Supplies and Electricity, Western Australia

The Honourable L. H. Bessell, M.H.A.,

Minister for Transport, Racing and Gaming and Mines, Tasmania.

2.   The meeting of Ministers was convened so that Commonwealth and State Ministers concerned wilh port development and marine affairs could discuss matters of common interest. Consideration was given to a number of recommendations which may result in legislative or administrative action.

Proceedings of the meeting are of a confidential nature. However, public information statements concerning the matters discussed by Ministers were made after the meeting. Items which may involve legislation and/or administrative action and on which public statements were made are as follows:

Formation of a Ministerial Council on port development and marine affairs.

A report on cellular container ships, roll-on roll-off and conventional ships.

Establishment of stockpiles of equipment and materials to combat oil pollution.

Implementation of the International Convention Relating to Intervention on High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties, 1969 - known as the Public Law Convention and the International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1969 - known as the Private Law Convention.

Amendment of State Laws relating to oil pollution.

Penalties for discharge of oil into the sea and related offences.

The Ministerial Conference of the InterGovernmental Maritime Consultative Organisation.

Establishment of a Marine Operations Centre.

(3)   No.

(4)   Of the Conventions listed in a previous question which I answered on 6th May 1971 (Hansard, pages 2853-4), consideration was given to (g) International Convention Relating to Intervention on High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties, 1969, and (h) International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1969.

Ministers agreed that the Commonwealth alone would legislate in respect of (g) and that (h) also should be implemented by Commonwealth legislation, although State law might well continue to contain similar or even identical provisions.

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