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Thursday, 29 November 1973
Page: 2319

Senator WRIGHT (Tasmania) -On the assumption that this appropriation may include expenditure for the Cass committee's inquiry into Lake Pedder, I wish to indicate in the most forthright manner that I think that the expenditure on that committee is probably unprecedented for the irresponsibility with which that inquiry was undertaken. It effected nothing of concern to the Federal Government, was a direct intrusion into State matters and involved propositions so absolutely absurd that it reflects ill upon those who authorised the expenditure.

The State Government of Tasmania has replaced old Lake Pedder with a new lake, infinitely more beautiful. It covers 93,000 square miles as against the original 4,000 square miles and is some 40 feet to 50 feet deep as against 10 feet deep at the most in the case of old Lake Pedder. This new lake, apart from being the greatest water storage in the southern hemisphere- 27 times greater than Sydney Harbour- will be a mecca for water sports unequalled in Australia. So far from damaging the ecology and damaging conservation this lake is one of the most magnificant conservation projects ever undertaken. It will be enjoyed by thousands, probably millions, in a sporting sense and its product will be of great value to the welfare and comfort of the homes and industries of Tasmania without in the slightest degree damaging the ecology of that area. I wish to say that a government that spends money on propositions of that sort is mad.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Cant - Order! The time for consideration of this Bill having expired, I put the question: 'That the votes for departments in group E be now passed without request'. Those of that opinion say aye. To the contrary, no.

Senator Wright - No.

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