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Wednesday, 26 May 1993
Page: 1379


Senator SOWADA (7.00 p.m.) —I would like to put that question on notice. I am very sorry that Senator Schacht is not here.


Senator Sherry —So am I.


Senator SOWADA —I am sure Senator Sherry is enjoying this experience in the Committee of the Whole and I am sure he will benefit from it in the long term, but I am very sorry not to have the opportunity of questioning Senator Schacht myself over these issues. Senator Schacht should think himself lucky that Senator Sherry is here to cover for him.


Senator Ian Macdonald —He might have gone on purpose.


Senator SOWADA —Indeed, he might have. So can we have that question relating to actinides put on notice, Mr Chairman? I would like to know what they are and I would like the Minister to describe to us the levels of radioactivity applied to those elements.


Senator Sherry —I will take that question on notice and ensure that Senator Sowada gets an answer.


Senator SOWADA —Could the Minister confirm that building 56 is in fact known as the actinide suite or contains a laboratory known as the actinide suite?


Senator Sherry —It does contain the actinide suite.


Senator SOWADA —Were actinides stored or used in the actinide suite at the time of the fire last year?


Senator Sherry —I will have to take that question on notice.


Senator SOWADA —I will obviously have to pursue this issue with Senator Schacht in some detail at a later time. I have one question in relation to the fire. I understand from Hansard and from the questions that I asked Professor Garnett that the fire was handled by the Lucas Heights occupational health and safety unit. Given the misleading or incorrect information we received at estimates from Professor Garnett, I think it would probably be in everybody's best interests if the report from the Lucas Heights occupational health and safety unit were tabled or in some way provided to us for examination. I ask Senator Sherry whether he would be prepared to ensure that we had access to a copy of the report that was doubtless written in relation to the fire at Lucas Heights.