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Thursday, 21 August 1980
Page: 591

Mr PEACOCK (Kooyong) (Minister for Foreign Affairs) - Mr Speaker, with your indulgence I would like to add to an answer I gave to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. In stating the general policy on nuclear safeguards I omitted - and I apologise - to address the specific question near the end of his question to me which dealt with an allegation that the Government was being secretive concerning nuclear safeguards negotiations with EURATOM. As the negotiations are still under way, it would be inappropriate for me to go into specific details on this matter at present. But I can say, and should have added at that time, that three rounds of negotiations on an Australia-EURATOM nuclear safeguards agreement have been held so far. The third round was held in Canberra in June of this year. The dates for the next round of negotiations, to the best of my knowledge and recall, have not yet been finalised, but satisfactory progress is unquestionably being made to date in the negotiations. We attach considerable importance to the conclusion of a nuclear safeguards agreement with EURATOM which will open the way for the export of Australian uranium to meet the energy needs of the member states of the European Community.

Mr Lionel Bowen -Mr Speaker,with your permission, could I ask the Minister to say quickly what is the encapsulated area?

Mr PEACOCK - I think I have covered enough.

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