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Thursday, 17 October 1985
Page: 1497

(Question No. 553)

Senator Sanders asked the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice, on 17 September 1985:

(1) How many hectares of rural land, State by State, have been or are already quarantined because of unacceptable residues of organo-chlorine insecticides.

(2) What regions of Australia are the most affected by insecticide residues.

(3) What industries or farming activities are the most affected by such insecticide residues.

Senator Walsh —The Minister for Primary Industry has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) and (2) The quarantining of rural land deemed unsuitable for agricultural production is a matter for individual State Departments of Agriculture. I am therefore not able to provide details as to how many hectares of rural land may have been subject to quarantine because of unacceptable levels of organo-chlorine residues or the regions which might be most affected.

I have requested my Department to approach the respective State Government departments for the details sought by the honourable senator.

(3) As organo-chlorine residues may persist in soil for many years and because they are fat soluble, the most affected farming activities may be cattle production and dairying where under severe conditions of soil contamination, residues may arise in meat and milk following grazing. Residues may also be taken up by some crops and may occur in fish but I am not aware that these are areas of concern.