EXPLOSION - WESTERN AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK, 1993
2641. Dr EDWARDS to the Premier:
(1) In the New York Times 27 January 1997, there appeared an extensive article looking at the investigations undertaken by a United States Senate Committee into a mysterious explosion which occurred in the Western Australian outback at 11.03 p.m. on 28 May 1993, in the vicinity of an large property then owned by the Aum Shinrikyo Sect. The enquiry took place following reports that the sect had acquired nuclear weapons and it was feared that the explosion in 1993 was, in fact, a small nuclear explosion. Was the Premier aware that this US enquiry had taken place?
(2) The New York Times article claims that "preliminary searches" were undertaken to find the site of the explosion but it does not say by whom the searches were undertaken. Will the Premier explain what searches have already been undertaken, by whom, when and where?
(3) Will the Premier explain why it was left to a United States Senate Committee to investigate fully the circumstances surrounding the 1993 explosion?
(4) Even if the event were simply a meteorite strike, as was suggested at the time, was it not of scientific significance and thus worthy of investigation?
(5) Has the Western Australian Government mounted any investigation into locating the site where the explosion occurred?
(6) If no to (5) above, why not?
(7) If yes to (5) above, will the Premier table the findings of the investigation?
(8) If no to (7) above, why not?
(9) Has any local investigation been made into the circumstances of the sale of Banjawarn Station to the representatives of the Aum Shinrikyo sect?
(10) Will the Premier table all details of the sale of Banjawarn Station to the representatives of the Aum Shinrikyo organisation in 1993, including when the vendor agreed to sell the property to the organisation?
(11) Will the Premier table the movements of the two key sect members Kyohide HAYAKAWA and Yoshihiro INOUE in and out of Western Australia during 1993?
Mr COURT replied:
(1) I am not aware of the United States Senate Committee investigating this matter. I am advised that the Police Officer representing the Western Australia Police Service during the Aum Sect Investigation has never been approached by any committee investigating the alleged explosion of May 28, 1993.
(2) Mr Harry Mason, Consulting Exploration Geologist of Jarrahdale, WA, advised police of his suspicions surrounding the alleged explosion and that he had conducted a comprehensive air search over the area in question with negative results.
(3) I am advised that the Australian Federal Police Task Force Commander and the Western Australia Police Service representative in the Aum Sect investigation have never been approached by any committee regarding the alleged explosion of May 28, 1993.
(4) The Mundaring Seismic Observatory have officially recorded the events of May 28, 1993 as an earthquake.