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Thursday, 14 November 1985
Page: 2214

(Question No. 554)

Senator Kilgariff asked the Minister representing the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment, upon notice, on 16 September 1985:

(1) Is it the Government's intention to declare the Gimbat and Goodparla Pastoral Leases as an extension of the Kakadu National Park, despite the historical existence of mineralisation in the area and the recent discovery of a major gold deposit at Coronation Hill.

(2) Will the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment guarantee that the development of the ore body discovered at Coronation Hill will be allowed to proceed, given that the ore is on Commonwealth land; if so, under what legislation will the development be allowed to proceed; if not, under existing legislation, is it the Government's intention to legislate to allow development to proceed.

(3) Is it the Government's intention to permit further exploration outside the existing mineral leases, given that the whole area proposed to be declared a national park is highly prospective for gold, base metals and other minerals.

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

I am advised as follows:

(1) The Government is currently addressing various matters associated with the incorporation of the Gimbat and Goodparla pastoral leases into Kakadu National Park. The Government is well aware of the mineralisation of the area and the gold deposit at Coronation Hill, just as it is of the conservation and recreational values and pastoral uses of the area. These aspects are being fully considered.

(2, 3) Until the Government has fully considered the matter I am not in a position to make any statement regarding development of the ore body at Coronation Hill or to advise on the Government's intentions regarding future exploration.