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Friday, 26 May 1972
Page: 2173

Senator MULVIHILL - I direct a ques tion to the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Aborigines and the Acts. In view of the precedent established by the United States Department of Interior in setting aside reservations for America's rapidly diminishing number of wild horses will the Minister use his wildlife secretariat to get combined New South Wales-Victorian State Government action to establish similar reservations on the New South Wales-Victorian border to retain the last vestiges of brumbies in south eastern Australia?

Senator GREENWOOD - I think that insofar as some blueprint for action in Australia is to be found in what happens in the United States of America, it should be recognised that in this field the powers of the Federal Government in the United States are vastly greater than are the powers of the Commonwealth Government in Australia. Insofar as the honourable senator asks that the Minister whom I represent take action to initiate CommonwealthState action in this field, I shall convey the question to the Minister, but I should say that the basic position at the moment is that this question of wildlife preservation, particularly with regard to thebrumbies, is a matter for action by the appropriate State government. I think it is quite clear that in Victoria, where the current controversy has been aired, the relevant Minister has said, as categorically as I think words can express the position, that the action of killing brumbies is unlawful, that people are entering into State forests unlawfully and that people who are detected will be prosecuted. In addition I understand thatthe brumbies are not to be found mainly in the south east of Australia but in the northern parts.

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