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Monday, 15 October 1973
Page: 2061

Mr CONNOR (Cunningham) (Minister for Minerals and Energy) - Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.

Mr SPEAKER - Order! Does the Minister claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr CONNOR - I do. In the 'Australian' newspaper of last Saturday, 13 October, was a statement by the honourable member for Farrer (Mr Fairbairn) that I had misled the House on 4 separate occasions. I should like to explain the facts. In the first case he said that my claim was that the cost of bringing natural gas to shore from the North West Shelf fields would be between $2 10m and $212m. He ridiculed this as being ridiculous. I have here, and I will table it if the shadow Minister of the Opposition will agree, an estimate of the costs of bringing natural gas ashore. This estimate was made jointly by officers of my Department's Hydrocarbons Branch and representatives of the Woodside-Burmah company. It provides for the drilling of 3 proving wells and of 24 production wells, the construction of 2 production platforms and the laying of 76 miles of submarine pipeline. I table this document.

The honourable member for Farrer further said that I knew that all existing contracts approved for export were in Australian dollars. They were not. In fact there are 3,380 tons in contracts denominated in Australian dollars and 8,300 tons denominated in United States dollars. In respect of pricing the honourable member for Farrer said that the prices ranged from US$8.10 to US$10.82. In fact with a weighted average of the first year deliveries of uranium oxide under all approved contracts the price was US$7.02, which is equivalent to $A4.72.

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