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Tuesday, 27 March 1973
Page: 764

Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) en asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice:

(1)   Has the boundary between Papua New Guinea and Indonesia now been settled.

(2)   If so, will he table in the House the relevant documents.

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

(1)   The land and seabed boundary between Papua New Guinea and Indonesia has been completely settled by 2 Agreements between Australia and Indonesia. The first Agreement was signed In Canberra on 18th May 1971 and the second Agreement was signed in Jakarta on 12th February 1973.

Each of these Agreements is subject to ratification in accordance with the Constitutional requirements of each country. Indonesia has ratified both Agreements. Before Australia can ratify the Agreements it will be necessary, in conformity with Australian constitutional practice, to bring Australian legislation into line with the provisions of the Agreements.

A Bill to enable early ratification of these Agreements will be presented in the House in the near future.

(2)   Both the Agreements referred to in (1) will be attached as Schedules to the BUI when the Bill is introduced into Parliament.

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