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Tuesday, 25 September 1973
Page: 1416

Dr JENKINS (SCULLIN, VICTORIA) - Has the attention of the Minister for External Territories been drawn to the comments contained in a report of the House of Representatives Select Committee on Wildlife Conservation regarding Christmas Island? If so, what steps has he taken to ensure revegetation of areas affected by phosphate mining operations and so on? Have any steps been taken to set aside sufficient rain forests on the island for the preservation of Abbott's booby bird and the Christmas Island Imperial pigeon which are endemic to the island and are listed internationally as gravely endangered species?

Mr MORRISON - I share the honourable member's concern about the report that was brought down in the last Parliament of the failure of the Christmas Island Phosphate Commission to revegetate the worked out mine area. I will be visiting Christmas Island at the end of next month and one of the purposes of my visit will be to examine this question. I have written to the Minister for the Environment and Conservation suggesting that a term of reference for the Standing Committee on Environment and Conservation, of which the honourable member for Scullin is the Chairman, include the environmental impact of mining operations on Christmas Island. It may well be an opportune time, when I am visiting Christmas Island, for members or a subcommittee of the Standing Committee on Environment and Conservation to join me in that visit.

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