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Tuesday, 26 September 1972
Page: 1144

Senator KEEFFE (QUEENSLAND) - Can the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs inform the Parliament of the number of conferences held between the Australian and Indonesian Governments to decide the sea boundary between the 2 countries? Is it a fact that all conferences to date have failed because of the uncompromising attitudes adopted by the Australian Government? Will another conference be held early in October? Who will Australia's representative be and what proposals will they place before the representatives of the Indonesian Government?

Senator WRIGHT - It is well known that within the last 12 months there have been 2 conferences between Australian and Indonesian representatives on the question of defining the boundaries of the continental shelf between the shores of Indonesia and Western Australia. These conferences have been conducted in a most cooperative and cordial fashion. The fact that agreement has not yet been reached indicates no unfriendliness on either side, ft is undoubted that a further conference will be held after consideration has been given to the matter and after the Australian and Indonesian representatives have consulted their Governments for further instructions. Until the Government has given those instructions and made them available for public information it would be presumptuous on my part to anticipate what they might be.

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