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Tuesday, 6 June 1989
Page: 3495

(Question No. 924)


Senator Vallentine asked the Minister representing the Minister for Community Services and Health, upon notice, on 6 April 1989:

(1) Who, or what agency is responsible for the bulk loading of monazite, xenotime, ilmenite, leucoxene, zircon, rutile concentrates and synthetic rutile, in the holds of vessels used in the overseas transport of these concentrates.

(2) Which statute(s) contain(s) health and safety regulations in regard to protection of workers and the public from possible internal or external exposure from ionising radiation and dust-related health hazards associated with materials produced by the mineral sands and synthetic rutile industries.

(3) Who, or what agency is responsible for the administration of occupational health and safety regulations in regard to such statutes referred to in (2).


Senator Cook —The Minister for Community Services and Health has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Regulation of the transport to the docks and loading into vessels of the materials listed, is the responsibility of the appropriate State authority.

(2) and (3) Regulatory control of radiation exposure arising from mineral sands processing is the responsibility of the appropriate State authorities, usually Departments of Health or Mining or both in partnership, guided by the recommendations of the National Health and Medical Research Council and by Codes of Practice developed under the Environment Protection (Nuclear Codes) Act 1978. There are three relevant Codes:

Code of Practice on Radiation Protection in the Mining and Milling of Radioactive Ores 1987;

Code of Practice on the Management of Radioactive Wastes from the Mining and Milling of Radioactive Ores 1982; and

Code of Practice for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Substances 1982. (A revision of this Code is expected to be published in 1989).