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Thursday, 2 November 1967

Dr MACKAY (Evans) - The honourable member for Mackellar (Mr Wentworth) said that I was quite misleading in saying that the Australian companies would be able to take up discarded areas. I would point out that this is not just a question of leavings. Indeed, some of the important discoveries in Australia have been made by such organisations as the UnionKernAustralian Oil and Gas Corporation. This organisation found oil in an area which was once held by the Shell Company and was discarded by it because it was not, in its opinion, prospective. Different companies have different philosophies, concepts or interpretations of data and while one company may regard an area as unprospective another may be looking to that area for a particular series of circumstances.

The honourable member for Mackellar also said that the period of 6 years was too long in the first instance because it takes a relatively short time to obtain geophysical information. This is quite true. It takes a very short time to conceive a child, but it takes a long time for the child to be born and to be brought up to maturity. It is equally true that one can very quickly get information in the form of a text book, but it takes a long time to read, mark, learn, interpret and understand it. The interpretative process of going over the data which is obtained, admittedly relatively quickly in the seismic exploration programme at sea, is a long drawn out and a very complicated and expert one, and is by no means merely to be related to the time in the field.

Clauses agreed to.

Clauses 24 to 31 - by leave - taken together.

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