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Tuesday, 26 September 1972
Page: 1190

Senator KEEFFE asked the Minister representing the Minister for National Development, upon notice:

(1)   Did Australian and French officials meet in Paris over the period 15th-17th February 1972 to plan a joint feasibility study of the technical and economic possibilities of constructing a uranium enrichment plant in Australia.

(2)   Will the Minister (a) inform the Parliament where the proposed plant will be built and, (b) who were Australia's representatives at the conference.

Senator COTTON-The Minister for National Development has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   (a) No decision has as yet been made on whether or not a uranium enrichment plant will be constructed in Australia. The work at present being carried out merely comprises the first stage of a feasibility study on whether it would be technically or economically feasible to construct such a plant. The study among other things has entailed collection of preliminary data on a number of possible sites.

(b)   The Australian representatives at the conference were officers from the Australian Atomic Energy Commission and the Department of National Development and the Paris based offices of the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Industry.

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