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DISCUSSION OF MATTER OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE

The Deputy President (Senator Crichton-Browne) informed the Senate that

Senator Ian Macdonald had proposed that the following matter of public

importance be submitted to the Senate for discussion:

(a) the incompetence, divisiveness and political motivation of the

Minister for Environment, Sport and Territories Senator

Faulkner, in his handling of the Oyster Point/Port Hinchinbrook

project which has resulted in:

(i) the loss of 40 jobs,

(ii) the addition of one million dollars to the cost of the

project,

(iii) the creation of a serious and real threat to the

environment from the delay in finalising stabilising

work on the site,

(iv) community division, and

(v) loss of investor confidence in the tourism industry in

Australia by the overriding of decisions of a sovereign

Government; and

(b) the lack of any credible scientific evidence to support the

Minister's ever changing position on the project and the need

for urgent action to resolve the situation.

The proposal was supported by 4 Senators.

Discussion ensued.

Document: Senator Woodley, by leave, tabled the following document:

Hinchinbrook Development--Copy of a letter from the Head (K J Down),

Office of the Co-ordinator General to the Secretary (S Hamilton),

Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, dated 8 July

1994 together with attachment: A Review of the draft Valentine report

regarding world heritage values and the Oyster Point proposal

undertaken by John Wood and Ray Ison, dated 8 July 1994.

Discussion concluded.