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Thursday, 20 April 1972
Page: 1287

Senator LAUCKE (South Australia) - I present the report of the Standing Committee on Social Environment relating to the Clutha Development Project.

Ordered that the report be printed. Senator LAUCKE - I move: That Mie Senate take note of the paper. This report is a brief and largely formal one and does not flow from a programme of committee activity completed in the normal way. So far as I am aware, this is the first occasion on which a committee has found that the need for an inquiry into the subject of a reference has vanished before the programme relating to that reference, has actually been planned and put into operation. Perhaps it would not be a miss for me to recount briefly what has happened in respect of this reference. It was received on 7th December 1971, 3 days before the Senate rose for the Christmas recess. At the time, the Committee was heavily involved with the initial stages of a major inquiry under another reference and was unable to consider the Clutha reference until its first meeting in 1972. However, the formal announcement that Clutha Development Pty Limited had abandoned the project was made on 8th February, a few days before the Committee's first meeting in 1972.

Having noted that the project was not to proceed, the Committee sought from the New South Wales Minister for Mines clarification as to whether any residual rights under the State legislation or the agreement between the New South Wales Government and the company would remain with Clutha Development Pty Limited or any associated company. As an assurance on this point has been received the Committee is of the view that an inquiry under the terms of reference is no longer required. Accordingly, the Committee formally reports these circumstances to the Senate in the belief that its responsibilities under this reference should be discharged by this process in the normal way.

Debate (on motion by Senator Mulvihill) adjourned.

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