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Wednesday, 16 August 1989
Page: 214

(Question No. 1000)

Senator Boswell asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Arts, Tourism and Territories, upon notice, on 23 May 1989:

(1) With reference to the media release issued by a former Minister, Mr Brown, on 16 September 1987, entitled `Christmas Island Mine May Close', in which Mr Brown said `The Federal Government is ready to shut down phosphate mining on Christmas Island if current industrial bans are not lifted' and that `there was work on the Island for 300 miners for a further 2.5 years before the eventual closure of the mine', did

(a) the Department draft this release for Mr Brown; if so, who drafted it;

(b) Mr Brown, when he visited Christmas Island on 5-6 September 1987, tell the UCIW to lift its bans or the mine would close;

(c) the UCIW lift its bans subsequent to Mr Brown's visit and prior to his press release; and

(d) Mr Brown's release ignore this.

Senator Richardson —The Minister for the Arts, Tourism and Territories has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(a) Yes; the media release was drafted in the Christmas Island Section.

(b) Yes.

(c) While industrial bans and limitations concerning a number of issues were lifted on 11 September 1987, the UCIW instituted legal challenges to the operation of large mobile plant between 11-21 September 1987 which resulted in the plant not being operational during this period.

(d) See (c) above.