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Tuesday, 10 September 1985
Page: 403

(Question No. 393)

Senator Missen asked the Minister representing the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment, upon notice, on 31 May 1985:

Was the Commonwealth Government, as a party to the World Heritage Convention, asked in December 1983 to provide the World Heritage Committee with a tentative list of cultural and national properties to form the basis of future nominations to the World Heritage List; if so, has the Commonwealth Government provided this tentative list and thereby fulfilled its obligations to identify and protect properties that it recognises are of world heritage value; if not, why not.

Senator Ryan —The Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The first part of this question was answered on 29 May 1984 in response to question No. 643 which the honourable senator asked, upon notice, on 16 December 1983.

During the May 1985 meeting of the Council of Nature Conservation Ministers (CONCOM) I invited State and Territory Ministers once again, in accordance with agreed CONCOM procedures, to submit suggestions of places to be examined with a view to possible future nomination to the World Heritage List.

Under these arrangements New South Wales has proposed, and the Commonwealth has endorsed, the New South Wales rainforests for nomination to the World Heritage List.

When responses have been received from all the States and the Northern Territory the Commonwealth will be in a position to thoroughly assess each proposal to ensure that the stringent criteria of `outstanding universal value' required for world heritage listing is maintained. With due regard to its obligations to ensure that any nominations have been properly researched, Australia will require adequate time to be devoted to this exercise. It is this important obligation, as well as the agreed CONCOM process, which precludes the submission of any tentative list at this time.