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Tuesday, 22 August 1972
Page: 466

Dr GUN (KINGSTON, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - My question is directed to the Acting Minister for Health and concerns the reported finding in Victoria of mercurial contamination of shark to 4 times the legal limit, a finding which has removed from Victorian fish shops over one-third of the quantity of fish normally consumed in Victoria, threatened disaster for fishermen in 3 States including those in the Minister's electorate, and disclosed a threatening public health hazard. Can the Minister reassure the House that this instance of marine pollution is not related to the widely, publicised deep sea dumping of industrial effluent? Is he aware that the high incidence of mercurial poisoning in a Japanese fishing village has been , attributed to dumping of industrial effluent? Does the Commonwealth regard this matter as the concern of the Commonwealth Department of Health? If so, does the Commonwealth have the constitutional and legal power to take appropriate action?

Dr FORBES (BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Immigration) - I will endeavour to find out what information there is in the Department of Health on this matter and provide the honourable gentleman with a full reply.

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