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Thursday, 3 February 1994
Page: 347

Senator BELL —My question is directed to the Leader of the Government in the Senate. I refer to the decision taken last year by the London Dumping Convention to end the disposal of industrial waste at sea by the end of 1995. Pasminco Metals EZ is urging the government to extend the deadline until at least 1997. The government has until 18 February to make or not make that extension. Is the minister of the opinion that Pasminco is able to meet the 1995 deadline set by the London Dumping Convention? Given the minister's strong support of the London convention's 1995 ban on the ocean dumping of radioactive waste and the support given to clean production by the Prime Minister, will he assure the parliament that Australia will not file a declaration of non-acceptance of the London dumping ban? Finally, if Australia does file that declaration, would it be true that Australia would then join Russia to be one of only two countries still abusing the oceans in this way?

Senator GARETH EVANS —As my office advised Senator Bell's office this morning, Mrs Kelly, who is the relevant minister here, will be making a full statement on this question later this afternoon. In those circumstances, I think it would be quite inappropriate for me to pre-empt her.