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Tuesday, 23 May 1989
Page: 2531

(Question No. 951)

Senator Dunn asked the Minister representing the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, upon notice, on 13 April 1989:

(1) What progress has been made by the Technical Assessment Group which was formed to conduct geological, engineering, anthropological, radioecological, inhalation, chemical analyses and regional airborne radioactivity studies into the nature, extent and potential hazards of the residual radioactivity at the former test sites at Maralinga in South Australia.

(2) What steps has the Government taken to effect Recommendation 3 of the Royal Commission into British Nuclear Tests in Australia relating to the removal of plutonium from the test site.

(3) What steps have been taken to effect the other recommendations of the Royal Commission.

Senator Cook —The Minister for Primary Industries and Energy has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) The Technical Assessment Group is expected to report to the Government in mid-1990 on the outcome of its study programme. This report will provide a range of costed rehabilitation options for consideration by the Government.

(2) The Government established the Technical Assessment Group in response to Recommendation 3 of the Royal Commission Report. It would be premature to consider any rehabilitation work before the Technical Assessment Group's report outlining rehabilitation options is received.

(3) See the Ministerial Statement of 17 September 1986 by the then Minister for Resources and Energy, Senator the Hon. Gareth Evans QC, entitled `Government Response to the Recommendations of the Royal Commission into British Nuclear Tests in Australia'.