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Tuesday, 23 October 1973
Page: 2511

Dr PATTERSON (Dawson) (Minister for Northern Development and Minister for the Northern Territory) - Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.

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

Dr PATTERSON - Yes. I listened over the communication system to the speech made by the former Minister for National Development, the honourable member for Farrer (Mr Fairbairn). He said that I deliberately misled the House. In a statement I made earlier this year I said that when the Government came to office I immediately called for the evaluation analysis report on the Burdekin River basin, including the Urannah Dam project and I received nothing. I still have not received anything because there is not anything to receive. A technical evaluation of dam sites is quite different from an evaluation analysis. The honourable member for Farrer, of all people, ought to know that an evaluation analysis includes an economic analysis in respect of a project on which any government has to make a decision. There has never been any evaluation analysis in relation to the Burdekin basin. There has never been any evaluation analysis in relation to the Urranah

Dam project. I have not yet received one because it has not been carried out. A technical study of the hydrology or geology aspects of a dam site is, as the honourable member well knows, far different from an economic evaluation analysis. In this instance there has never been an evaluation analysis. The previous Government did not carry out such an analysis. It still has not been carried out. The previous Government is the one that must take full responsibility for the delay in the development of the Burdekin basin.

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