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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4383

Mr WHITLAM (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Minister for National Development. I am spurred by the tabling of the momentous report of the Senate Select Committee on Off-Shore Petroleum Resources to ask when the Parliament and the public will at last be given access to the report on forward national development planning covering not only minerals but also forests, water and energy, which the. Minister's Department completed as far back as October last year.

Mr SWARTZ (DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for National Development) - I am delighted that the Leader of the Opposition has given me the opportunity to refer to a matter which is of great importance. I am pleased to see his rather new found interest in this matter. I acknowledge the fact that my Department and I spent a considerable amount of time last year preparing the basis of a document for consideration by the Government in relation to the development of our natural resources. In its early stages this document became public knowledge although at that stage it was nota public document. The matter has been before Cabinet for some considerable time and has gone through the early stages of its first consideration by Cabinet. Naturally the consideration of development on this scale, affecting as it does policy matters involving quite a number of departments, is a long and complicated process. Many of the matters which were raised when the subject was first being considered have now been dealt with and public announcements have been made. However, there are still quite a number of matters in the original document that have yet to be considered. The position at the present time is that an interdepartmental committee is considering a number of them. When it has finally considered these points and make recommendations to me, the matter will again be considered by the Government. But I. do appreciate, as I say, the new found interest of the Opposition in this very important matter.

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