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Thursday, 10 March 1977
Page: 77

Dr JENKINS (SCULLIN, VICTORIA) -I direct my question to the Minister for Environment, Housing and Community Development. Last year, the Minister said in this House that his Government would take decisions on the further development of the Australian uranium industry in the light of public discussion and of debate in the national Parliament. In view of this statement, what action is his Department, or any Government department, taking to further public debate and discussion on the uranium industry?

Mr NEWMAN (BASS, TASMANIA) (Minister for Environment, Housing and Community Development) -Let me say first of all that the Government is still maintaining the position which was expressed very clearly last year.

Mr Uren - When will the report be available?

Mr NEWMAN -To that end 7000 copies of the First Report of the Ranger Environmental Inquiry are available through all Commonwealth Government publication offices in Australia. I am told that, as of recently copies are in adequate supply and that 7000 copies should meet the requirement. If that requirement cannot be met by that number, we will be happy to look at the demand and, if necessary, increase the supply. I agree that the matter of public debate is an important element in what is happening now between the release of the First Ranger report and the release of the second Ranger report. To that end, my Department has, under my orders, set up a task force. We are monitoring that debate. I get regularly reports on what is said in the public debate. We have even gone to the extent of sending some of my staff to some of the more important public arenas to hear what is being said. We will continue to monitor that debate. When the Second Report of the Ranger inquiry is presented the Government will have put in front of it what has been said in the public debate.

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