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Wednesday, 16 October 1974
Page: 1738

Senator STEELE HALL (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Is the Minister representing the Minister for Minerals and Energy aware that a number of speculative reports have been published concerning the proposal to build a petrochemical plant at Redcliffs in South Australia? Is the Minister aware that despite a huge projected public expenditure, said to be of the order of $90,000 a job, the plant is likely to have a life span of between 10 and 15 years only. Is the Minister aware that the cost of gas has been raised by approximately 25 per cent because of the altered tax provisions concerning the mining industry included in the Budget? Is the Minister aware that a report in this morning's Age' indicates that the Minister for Minerals and Energy has over-estimated the gas reserves at Palm Valley by 700 to 800 per cent? In view of these factors will the Minister clarify the Redcliffs position and give an undertaking that he will not approve any reckless commitment by the South Australian Premier for the disposal of South Australian gas resources for the benefit of industries situated in foreign countries, which will put at risk the supply of gas needed for existing and potential users in South Australia and Sydney?

Senator WRIEDT -The matter raised by Senator Hall is a long question. It is an important matter which I think should go to the Minister concerned for an appropriate answer.

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