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Wednesday, 21 November 1973
Page: 1952

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) -My question, which I address to the Minister for Customs and Excise, refers to a statement on the export of kangaroo products which was made by the Minister for the Environment and Conservation yesterday in the House of Representatives. Arising from that statement I ask: Is it a fact that, despite the lawful destruction of certain species of kangaroo under the Vermin Act of Western Australia and a strictly controlled harvesting program, kangaroos have reached plague proportions in some areas of Western Australia? Does the harvesting program have the support and commendation of the Western Australian Government and, in particular, of the State Department of Fisheries and Fauna? Has that Department submitted a management program which the Minister for the Environment and Conservation considers does not meet the requirements laid down by the working party set up by the Commonwealth? If this is so, how is Western Australia to solve a serious problem that it knows how to tackle successfully but cannot tackle successfully because of Commonwealth control?

Senator MURPHY (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Attorney-General) - A statement on the export of kangaroo products was made in the House of Representatives yesterday, and I would hope to be able to present the same statement to the Senate today. The statement deals with the report of the working party which was set up after the meeting of Australian and State Ministers. The working party evolved a program for the implementation of conservation measures which included the culling, where necessary, of kangaroos. It would be expected that those who set up the working party would be prepared to conform with the decisions which were taken. But it seems that that is not so. Western Australia has conformed with the recommendations of the working party in many respects, but not entirely. I suggest that what ought to be done by Western Australia is to conform with the recommendations of the working party and to induce the other States which are not conforming to conform also.

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