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Wednesday, 21 May 1980
Page: 2966

Mr KATTER (KENNEDY, QUEENSLAND) - Is the Deputy Prime Minister aware of reports that a uranium rnining lease has been granted to the Minatome company for its project at Ben Lomond near Townsville in northern Queensland and that the Queensland Minister for Mines has said that the granting of the lease will now allow mining to go ahead? Has the Minister been approached concerning an export licence for uranium from Ben Lomond?

Mr ANTHONY - I have seen reports relating to Minatome. a French company, in regard to developing a uranium lease at Ben Lomond in Queensland. I have not been approached at all by this company. Development approval cannot be given by a State; it has to be given by the Commonwealth. Only when the Commonwealth gives approval can an export permit be approved for the export of uranium. Before any development approval can be given there has to be an environmental assessment of the project. We also have to look into the relative foreign equity situation of the company undertaking the development.

Up to this time the company has not approached me. Until it does I cannot designate it a proponent subject to an environmental examination in accordance with the Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act. At this point there has been no official contact with the Commonwealth Government and under those circumstances there can be no approval for the project to proceed.

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