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Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Page: 8786

Senator RYAN (VictoriaAssistant Cabinet Secretary) (15:58): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator RYAN: Thank you, Mr President. The government extends our deepest condolences to those affected by the incident at the Samarco iron ore mine in Brazil. BHP Billiton and Vale have responded quickly and have set up an emergency fund for community support and rebuilding works. They have assisted in evacuating residents and have provided emergency accommodation and supplies. Andrew Mackenzie, CEO of BHP Billiton, has said:

In BHP Billiton, we recognise that we have a responsibility to support Samarco and the local authorities in the response effort, and I assure you I am absolutely determined that we will fully play our part in that response.

Australia has some of the strictest environmental laws and highest environmental standards in the world. BHP Billiton operates in Australia in accordance with these laws and there are strict measures in place to ensure this continues.