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Wednesday, 13 May 1970

Mr CHIPP (HOTHAM, VICTORIA) (Minister for Customs and Excise) - I understand that at the end of this month there will be a conference, which was scheduled some time ago, of State and Commonwealth officials in Darwin on the general question of conservation of fauna. I also understand that, other than the Commonwealth Government, 3 State governments have listed for the agenda of that conference the question of the conservation of the kangaroo, as distinct from other fauna. As I have said in this House, on 2 previous occasions, there are several Commonwealth departments involved in this situation. So an interdepartmental committee has been established under the chairmanship of a representative of my colleague, the Minister for Education and Science. That committee will meet on Tuesday of next week with a view to putting a concerted opinion to the meeting at Darwin at the end of the month. Other departments represented on that committee are the Department of Primary Industry, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Prime Minister's Department and my own Department. The enormous amount of information that has come to my attention since I answered the honourable gentleman's question in this House two or three weeks ago. together with information collected by other depar ments, will be made available to that committee. I think that the honourable member for Henty, the honourable member for Chisholm and other honourable members who have shown an interest in this matter can take some pride in the fact that this is a subject which, hitherto hardly mentioned, is now receiving this sort of priority.

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