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Wednesday, 12 April 1972
Page: 1013

Senator COTTON - On 9th March, Senator Mulvihill asked the following question, without notice:

How does the Minister representing the Minister for the Interior reconcile the spirit of Estimates discussions, where answers in depth are given, with the failure until now of the Minister for the Interior to release the findings of an expert committee warning of mining depredations adjacent to the Northern Territory Top End National Park when the report in question was in the hands of the Minister late last year?

The Minister for the Interior has provided the following reply to the honourable senator's question:

The report concerned became available in October 1971 but it was then necessary to print sufficient numbers to permit general distribution. The report was released on 6th March.

Although the Government has not yet accepted all the recommendations in the report it recognised the wide public interest in the proposal and in the concept of preparing a scientifically based report on the area proposed for a national park.

In releasing the report the Minister for the Interior stated that it would be considered by the Government in relation to development proposals for the East Alligator River area generally, and would provide a valuable basis for deliberation on future land use in that area.

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