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Tuesday, 9 November 1976
Page: 2437

Mr E G Whitlam (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I ask the Prime Minister a question. Last Thursday he was reluctant to answer my question whether during his meeting with the Premier of Queensland he would take the opportunity to discuss such matters as concern both governments as the seabed boundary between Australia and Papua New Guinea and Aboriginal health. I now ask him whether he did discuss with the Premier these issues of the border with Papua and Aboriginal health, and, if so, whether he can inform the House of the outcome of the discussions on those 2 issues?

Mr MALCOLM FRASER - I think the House generally knows that the main purpose of the discussions with the Premier related to issues involving Fraser Island which involve not only, as I have indicated, vastly important environmental issues but also issues of great importance, as the honourable member for Wide Bay would be aware, concerning the employment and the livelihood of the people and industries in the area. Beyond that I am not prepared to say what was discussed because it should be possible for Prime Ministers and Premiers to have discussions sometimes that do not have to be the subject of parliamentary debate.

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