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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4536

Mr HUNT (Gwydir) (Minister for the Interior) - by leave - I would like to draw honourable members' attention to the report tabled recently by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works dealing with the proposed construction of the central zone sewerage scheme at Darwin, Northern Territory. Honourable members will recall that the proposal was examined and endorsed by the Committee in mid 1969. Subsequently there was particularly strong public criticism qf the scheme and I felt it would be helpful for the people concerned to be given a further opportunity of putting forward their views and being questioned by members of this Parliament. The Parliament decided on 25th August, 1971 to refer the proposal back to the Committee for further investigation and report. After extensive inquiries involving the taking of lengthy submissions and evidence from government officers and private organisation and individuals, the Committee has concluded that it is not expedient to proceed with the proposal as submitted and has recommended to Parliament accordingly, with the further recommendation that the Government should reconsider the means of heating and disposing of sewage from the central zone. Several possible alternatives were suggested as warranting consideration. In accordance with the Committee's recommendation that alternative schemes be looked at the Department of Works is now proceeding with further investigation. When these are completed the Government will again refer the matter io the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works for investigation and report. Present indications are that this will be proposed during the 1972 autumn session of Parliament.

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