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Wednesday, 16 April 1980
Page: 1472

Senator BONNER (QUEENSLAND) -I draw the attention of the Minister representing the Minister for Science and the Environment to a report that a panel of internationally recognised scientists has told the United States Congress that the world could face an ecological disaster unless a global strategy is developed to control the amount of carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere. Dr W. Kellogg, one of the scientists, further told the Congress that the increased burning of oil, coal and natural gas is the principal cause but that the cutting and clearing of the world's forests is also a major factor. Has the Minister received particulars of these findings? Does Australia carry out any monitoring of the atmosphere? Further, are there any checks on the level of carbon dioxide? If so, what steps is the Government taking to combat the pollution of the atmosphere in Australia?

Senator CHANEY - I have seen reports of the conference to which the honourable senator referred. The reports related to the increase in carbon dioxide, I think in the eastern United States in particular, and the effect which that was having on the environment, rain and so on. The reports certainly had a serious ring to them. I am not sure whether the specific reports from the conference have yet been received in Australia. If they have, I am not sure whether they are in the hands of Mr Thomson, the Minister for Science and the Environment. I will refer the four parts of the honourable senator's question to Mr Thomson and ask him to give the honourable senator detailed advice on the matters which he has raised.

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