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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2231


Photo of Gorton, John

Gorton, John

Period of Service: 10/01/1968 to 10/03/1971

More information about Gorton, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 20/05/1970

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 2231

FOR PRESS P. M. No 58/ 1970
StateMent bytePrm inister, Mr. John Gorton
The Prime Minister, Mr. Gorton, announced today that the
Mmister for National Development as President of the Australian Minerals
Council had invited the State Ministers for Mines to attend a meeting of the
Council which would be held in Adelaide on Tuesday 9th June.
Early next week and well prior to the meeting of 9th June, the
Commonwealth would send to the States the draft Offshore M1ining Bill together
with the Heads of Agreement suggested by the Commonwealth to be the basis
of arrangements between the Commonwealth and the States for the administration
of the legislation. The Offshore Mining Bill would not be introduced into the Commonwealth
Parliament until after the discussions with the States in the Australian Minerals
Council. In the meantime the debate on the Territorial Sea and Continental
Shelf Bill which was introduced in the Federal Parliament on 16 April, would be
held over until after the meeting.
Mr. Gorton said that the Commonwealth Government remained
firmly of the view that it was highly desirable in Australia's national and
international interests to have the legal position as, to the respective jurisdiction
of the Commonwealth and the States in offshore areas resolved as soon as
possible. As had been indicated by the Minister ffor National Development in
his second reading speech on the Territorial Sea and Continental Shelf Bill on
16th April 1970, this would be a matter for decision by the courts.
Mr. Gorton added that as an earnest of the Commonwealth's desire
to see this matter settled, the Commonwealth Government had decided that it
would meet the legal costs of the States in conducting their case. Although
the Commonwealth wished to see the issues determined by the High Court, this
in no way detracted from the Commonwealth's wish to work in close co-operation
with the States in the effective and eff ic ient administration of Australia's off shore
areas. With this in mind the Minister for National Development at the meeting
of the Australian Minerals Council on 9th June would be seeking to establish
a sound working relationship between the State Governments and the
Commonwealth Government.

Transcript 2231