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Tuesday, 4 October 1983
Page: 1249

Mr COWAN —Is the Minister for Primary Industry aware of statements made recently by the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory with regard to the inadequate surveillance of Australia's northern coastline? Is this concern also being expressed by the Premier of Queensland at this time? In view of the reported outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Java, can the Minister say what efforts the Government is taking to protect the $2 billion Australian beef industry? Furthermore, would an outbreak mean the virtual end of the lucrative meat export to America?

Mr KERIN —Claims are made all the time-I think it is a rather easy claim to make- that there is always insufficient coastal surveillance. This function resides with my companion the Minister for Transport. He is in charge of coastal surveillance. I do not think the other general propositions put forward by the honourable member necessarily follow. If I can get a copy of the honourable member's detailed question I will follow up the two or three threads in it and get an answer to him within 24 hours. But the question of coastal surveillance resides with the Minister for Transport. Such claims as referred to by the honourable member are made all the time. I was not specifically aware of the claim by the Minister in the Northern Territory. I never cease to be amazed by the claims of the Premier of Queensland and treat them accordingly.