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Tuesday, 3 April 1973
Page: 957

Mr KERIN (MACARTHUR, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is the Minister for Health aware that the Australian Veterinary Association, the Commonwealth-States Veterinary Committee, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and university veterinary scientists have long requested the establishment of a maximum security veterinary laboratory so that research, specialisation, production of vaccines and diagnosis of exotic virus diseases of livestock may be undertaken? Is he aware that these bodies do not see as adequate the provision of only a high security import quarantine station at Norfolk Island or elsewhere? Is any investigation under way on the provision of a maximum security laboratory?

Dr EVERINGHAM (CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for Health) - I am not aware of the specific inquiries. None has come through me. 1 can quite understand the need for virus laboratory investigation to be available in the veterinary field, particularly in Australia. I appreciate that this need will remain after the provision of a high security animal quarantine station. A quarantine station, of itself, will not necessarily provide laboratory facilities. However, the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories does conduct an international virus reference laboratory which provides some of the facilities which no doubt would be required for a high security veterinary virus laboratory. The Commonwealth Serum Laboratory has made some representations to me for the provision of a high security virus laboratory to be conducted as an extension of the CSL's international virus reference laboratory. I am sure that this will provide the sort of service which will be needed. If the honourable member can supply further details I shall see that they are taken into account when decisions are being reached regarding a high security virus laboratory.

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