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Friday, 13 September 1985
Page: 523

Senator COONEY —I ask the Minister representing the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment: Has a request been made to the Government by the Ranger mining company for permission to release contaminated water from the restricted release zone into the Magela catchment area of the Kakadu National Park? If so, what action is the Government taking on that request? If so, has the Government consulted the local Aboriginal community about the request? If so, what has the community said?

Senator RYAN —I have some information on the matter raised by Senator Cooney. The Government is awaiting a report from Ranger on the water management problem at the mine and its implications. A further report is anticipated on the best practicable technology for water management. The Government's position will be decided once this information is to hand. Meanwhile, the Government expects that there will be no release of water from within the mine's restricted release zone. Senator Cooney also sought information on whether the local Aboriginal community has been consulted about this problem. My brief does not inform me about this matter. It is very important that the people living in that area are being consulted and informed. I will seek further information from the Minister's office about the question of Aboriginal consultation.