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Tuesday, 16 February 1971
Page: 71

Mr Stewart asked the Minister for National Development, upon notice:

(1)   Did he in his answer to Question No. 1191 (Hansard, 19th August 1970, page 252) infer that confidential studies of the environmental and ecological factors in the siting of the nuclear power station at Jervis Bay had been made.

(2)   Did he in his answer to Question No. 1194 (Mansard, 19th August 1970, page 253) state that a detailed examination of environmental and ecological factors is being made so that any disturbance of the environment at Jervis Bay will not be significant.

(3)   If so, which answer is correct.

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

(1)   Yes.

(2)   Yes.

(3)   The answers to Questions 1191 and 1194 are both correct and are not inconsistent. Question 1191 which the honourable member in substance has repeated in Question 1560 asked if reports could bc made available on some six factors (2 of which were the environmental and ecological factors) in respect of each site considered for the proposed nuclear power station. The honourable member was told that the reports were confidential in the sense that they were internal to the joint considerations of the Australian Atomic Energy Commission and Electricity Commission of New South Wales. The studies were merely to ascertain the various favourable and unfavourable factors of the sites initially considered. Several of the studies necessarily were little more than of a reconnaissance nature: the studies were not uniform in depth and were not designed for publication. They nevertheless showed the pre-eminence of the Jervis Bay site.

Question No. 1194 asked if heated waste water from the proposed Jervis Bay station would be discharged imo the ocean and asked further if there was any danger from such a release. The honourable member was informed that a final decision had not been reached on the point of discharge and that a detailed examination of the environmental and ecological factors which might be affected was being carried out. This examination is still being carried out in considerable depth and will not be completed for some time.

I would add that in relation to possible dangers from the release there will be a continuing monitoring after the nuclear power station has been completed so that any effect of the discharge on the environment will be kept under constant observation.

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