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Wednesday, 24 October 1973
Page: 1388

Senator CARRICK (NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question, addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Minerals and Energy, concerns the Government's announced proposal to initiate immediate discussions with Japan towards a feasibility study into the establishment in Australia of a joint Japanese-Australian centrifuge type uranium enrichment plant- a plant which, properly located and controlled, could be of great significance to Australia. Since it would be utterly irresponsible of the Australian Government to embark on detailed feasibility studies without having first determined the precise location of the proposed plant and the intended methods of disposing of the highly dangerous and permanently dangerous massive radioactive wastes, including their possible use for heat for electric power generation, I ask: Where is the proposed plant to be located? Where and by what method are the lethal wastes to be permanently disposed? Are the wastes to be buried within the Australian continent? If so, where and by what method? Alternatively, are the wastes to be buried at sea, Chicago gangster style, in a concrete casing? If so, where? Again alternatively, is the Government intending to do another Galston by thrusting the plant on the Northern Territory, South Australia or Western Australia without prior warning and discussion? Finally, will the Minister for the Environment and Conservation preserve his usual masterly neutrality on this supremely important environmental matter?

The PRESIDENT - Order! The question relates to policy. It cannot be within the capacity of the Minister representing the Minister in another place to give an opinion on policy and I direct that the question go on notice.

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