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Wednesday, 3 April 1968

Dr Everingham asked the Minister for External Affairs, upon notice:

1.   Has he been asked by the Great Barrier Reef Committee of the University of Queensland to legislate to control and/or to act to control, under the Geneva Convention concerning the continental shelf, illegal intrusion of foreign fishing vessels which are threatening to produce imbalance of certain fauna, particularly when they make a collector's item of the Trumpet Shell mollusc, so producing the present plague of the Crown of Thorns which is still threatening destruction of the reef?

2.   Has he replied, or will he reply, and in what terms?

Mr Freeth - The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows:

1.   The Acting Minister for External Affairs (who was also Minister for Defence) received a letter from the Great Barrier Reef Committee in these terms.

2.   The Acting Minister's reply, dated 14th February 1968 explained that, as the question concerned a matter which was for consideration by the Minister for Primary In'dustry, he had referred the inquiry to the Ministry for Primary Industry for a full reply. It is my understanding that the reply of the Minister for Primary Industry was despatched' on 14th March 1968.

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