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Thursday, 8 November 1973
Page: 1645

Senator POYSER (VICTORIA) -I .fer the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Conservation to a report which appeared in a recent edition of the Melbourne 'Age' which claims that the Minister for the Environment and Conservation and the Minister for Minerals and Energy are on a collision course over the proposal to establish a uranium enrichment plant in Australia. I ask the Minister whether there is any truth in this report and whether, as the 'Age' states, the Department of the Environment and Conservation will be preparing an environmental impact study on the project.

The PRESIDENT - Order! I Do not know who will answer this question. Will it be the Minister representing Mr Connor or the Minister representing Dr Cass; that is Senator Willesee or Senator Cavanagh?

Senator CAVANAGH - I can answer. I think the important point is that there is no conflict between the two Ministers. That answers the main part of the question. As the rest of the question referred to an environmental impact study I suggest that I am the appropriate Minister to answer it. There is no conflict of opinion in this area. Under the Government's environmental impact policy an environmental impact statement must be made on all occasions when it is necessary. The impact statement is made by the sponsoring department and not of necessity by the Department of the Environment and Conservation. The sponsoring department must proceed with an impact statement for any project which may have a detrimental effect upon the environment.

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