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Tuesday, 19 August 1980
Page: 428

Dr Everingham asked the Minister for Trade and Resources, upon notice, on 22 April 1980:

(   1 ) Have negotiations been in progress with State governments and industry representatives to co-ordinate coal export agreements; if so, what stage have they reached.

(2)   Has the Government taken steps to ensure that these agreements provide for (a) import prices for consuming countries to be comparable with world prices and (b) infrastructure and environmental protection plans, including plans for new communities when their coal reserves decline, to be independently assessed before approval is given to proposals.

Mr Anthony - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   and (2) No. However, on 7 December 1979, the Prime Minister wrote to the Premiers of New South Wales and Queensland pointing out the expected very large increase in international demand for Australian steaming coal and the need to ensure removal of impediments to the development of the trade. The Prime Minister suggested there should be discussions between Commonwealth and State officials, pooling information on likely expansion of steaming coal exports, coal developments likely to come on stream to meet export demand and identifying the necessary infrastructure requirements and timing. Both Premiers have responded positively and consultations by officials are in progress.

Additionally, my Department consults frequently with the Australian coal industry, both as represented by the Australian Coal Association and with individual companies, on coal trade and world market conditions for the purpose of ensuring that exports are made on fair and reasonable terms in relation to world markets.

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