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Wednesday, 31 May 1972
Page: 2377

Senator MULVIHILL (New South Wales) - I refer to the Department of the Interior. During one of my excursions in the adjournment debate I tabled a letter from the secretary of the National Parks Association of the ACT. It was quite a technical letter. I think that the Minister for Civil Aviation (Senator Cotton) referred it to the Department of the Interior. In the letter this very vigorous organisation asked for a clear cut designation of the various land uses involving parks and reserves in the Australian Capital Territory. It pointed out that while in overall terms the land was in the custody of the Commonwealth Government, the Association felt that just as there have been instances in the Northern Territory where minerals have been discovered, the equity of national parks or general reserves could be in jeopardy. In this case I assure Senator Wright that it would be well over 5 weeks since I raised this matter. I would like the Minister to take up this matter with his officers.

It becomes a ritual with me every year when speaking to the Estimates to ask when we are to obtain a clear cut announcement on what will constitute the boundaries of the ACT national park. I visualise an area in the Mt Kelly ranges. I have been out on a survey with departmental officers and I know the potential there. I keep receiving letters telling me that there is nothing to worry about, that there are a lot of legal impediments or that the Department is waiting for the land of a leaseholder to revert to the Commonwealth. But all that would have been told to me at least 6 to 8 months ago. Frankly, I believe that it is well and truly time that the Rubicon was crossed. I leave the matter like that.

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