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Wednesday, 16 August 1972
Page: 134

Senator MULVIHILL asked the Minis ter representing the Minister for National Development, upon notice:

(1)   Have private mining exploration operations been prohibited in the Deaf Adder Valley and Jim Jim Falls regions of the Northern Territory; if so, will the Australian Atomic Energy Commission also be prohibited from prospecting in this area.

(2)   Is the Minister for National Development empowered to prevent such prospecting or must he reach agreement with the Minister for the Interior.

(3)   In the case of a deadlock between the respective Ministers, would the matter be resolved by Cabinet or some form of arbitration.

Senator COTTON (New South WalesrMinister for Civil Aviation) The Minister for National Development has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   The Deaf Adder Valley and Jim Jim Falls areas of the Northern Territory, have been excluded from commercial prospecting.

The Australian Atomic Energy Commission will not carry out prospecting activities in these areas.

The Bureau of Mineral Resources, however, is carrying out geological and geophysical surveys in co-operation with the Northern Territory Administration. These surveys will not cause disturbance of the 2 areas. The results of the survey will provide valuable information on the geology of the region and will be used in the Environmental Fact-finding Study, of the Alligator Rivers region which has recently commenced.

(2)   The Minister for the Interior is responsible for the control of Mineral prospecting in the Northern Territory.

(3)   See (2) above.

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