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Thursday, 27 November 1986
Page: 3831


Mr CONNOLLY(10.54) —I would like to make a brief comment on clause 5 in relation to land trusts. While the Opposition is not opposing that clause, I think it is time to put on the record the fact that we believe that, in the fullness of time, it will be necessary and in the interests of the Aboriginal traditional landholders for the responsibilities of land trusts to be expanded so that traditional owners are in fact more closely involved with the decision making process than is currently the case. There is a range of amendments in the proposals put forward by the Government which cover this subject to some degree, but unfortunately the amendments have by no means been thoroughly looked through; nor, in my opinion and that of the Opposition, do they meet the long term objectives or needs of the traditional Aboriginal owners.

What I have in mind is that, whereas there is obviously a need at the present time for the continuation of the involvement of land councils in the pre-negotiating stage and in the negotiating stage when traditional owners are putting their cases forward to the land commissioners for the decisions relating to claims, once the claims have been settled and the title to that land has been vested in a land trust I believe there is a strong case to be made that local communities should be given greater control and power over the ultimate utilisation of that land. As I said, there are in this Act some provisions which, if interpreted correctly-one has to be very careful about the words one uses, because interpretations of laws of this Parliament quite often are not necessarily in the context of the decision making at the time-will enable some progress to be made, but I think it is time to place on record that in due course further amendments to this legislation will undoubtedly be required. It is a pity that it has taken so long for amendments to be brought forward, limited though they be; and in some respects, if anything, they are a set-back and not an advance on the original 1976 legislation.

Clauses agreed to.

Clause 8.

Amendment (by Mr Holding) agreed to:

(1) Clause 8, page 7, lines 8 and 9, omit proposed sub-section 11a (7), substitute the following sub-section:

``(7) In this section, a reference to an estate or interest in land includes a reference to-

(a) a mining interest; and

(b) a licence granted in respect of that land.''.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 9 to 11-by leave-taken together.