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Thursday, 14 September 1972
Page: 816

Senator WILLESEE (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - I wish to ask the Minister representing the Acting Minister for Health a question regarding the current concern over the high mercury levels found in shark caught off the southern coast of Australia. Has any study been made of the source of the mercury content in these sharks? I am informed that such a study is well within known technology. If not, will the Minister take urgent steps to trace the source of that mercury with a view to invoking the principle supported by the Minister for the Environment, Aborigines and the Arts, that the polluter must pay?

Senator GREENWOOD - I am unaware whether any such research has been undertaken. Indeed, I am not sure whether knowledge of such research activities would necessarily come within the province of the Minister for Health. However, I will arrange for the honourable senator's query to be addressed to the Acting Minister for Health. If necessary he can take up the matter with his colleagues whose responsibility it is and endeavour to ensure that information is supplied as soon as possible.

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