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Thursday, 27 November 1986
Page: 3851


Mr CONNOLLY(12.40) —The Opposition disapproves of the proposal in respect of clause 25 relating to the functions of commissioners, specifically because the proposed amendments will enable land claims to be extended over a further 10-year period. It should be noted that already land claims have been made since 1976, which effectively means that there would be over 20 years in which to make claims for land. It is also worth noting that under existing claims nearly 33 per cent of the Northern Territory has already been granted in land rights and a further 12 per cent is under claims yet to be decided. I am informed that there is virtually no claimable land left after the decisions on that 12 per cent have been settled. In view of that, I cannot see, nor can the Opposition, any reason why there needs to be a further extension of 10 years to solve that problem. The problem in regard to the question of land access in this context is related to mining. I wish to refer briefly to what the Prime Minister (Mr Hawke) said on this subject. According to the Age on 20 October 1984, he said:

We do not believe the right of veto is an integral part of having effective, fair and efficient land rights legislation.

That is the Prime Minister's view, and is contrary to the position adopted by the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs (Mr Holding) and by the Australian Labor Party. The Prime Minister went on to say:

We're not going to allow a position to arise where our resources, which are wanted by the rest of the world, can't be developed, because to develop them is in the interests of all Australians, including Aboriginals.

I say `Amen' to that. It is precisely the basis of the argument that I propounded in this place this morning. The Prime Minister also said:

. . . as a community we ought to ensure a blending of the concern for Aboriginal rights with the proper need of all Australians to have our mineral resources fully developed.

That is what he said on radio 8DN on 13 December 1985. Furthermore, he also said:

We do not believe the right of veto is an integral part of having effective, fair and efficient land rights legislation.

That is the essential argument propounded today by me and other Opposition members. Obviously it is the view of the Prime Minister. It is clearly not the view of the Labor Party. For that reason we believe that the extension of further claims for a period of 10 years is unnecessary, and I am proposing an amendment that the period be reduced to 12 months. I seek leave to move amendments Nos 7 to 9 together.

Leave granted.


Mr CONNOLLY —I move:

(7) Clause 25, page 16, line 10, omit ``10 years'', substitute ``12 months''.

(8) Clause 25, page 16, omit proposed sub-section 50 (2b).

(9) Clause 25, page 17, omit proposed sub-sections 50 (2d) and (2e), substitute the following sub-sections:

`` `(2d) Where an application as referred to in paragraph (1) (a) has been made to the Commissioner before the day of commencement of this sub-section or is made to a Commissioner on or after that day and-

(a) the land, or a part of the land, to which the application relates-

(i) was reserved, dedicated or otherwise set aside, under a law of the Northern Territory, with effect from a time before the making of the application, as a stock route or stock reserve but is not that part of a stock route so reserved, dedicated or set aside that is, along each of its 2 longer boundaries, contiguous to other land to which the application relates; or

(ii) was reserved, dedicated or otherwise set aside, under a law of the Northern Territory, with effect from a time before the making of the application, for a specified public purpose,

and, in a case where the application was made before the day of commencement of this sub-section, the Commissioner had not, before the day of commencement of this sub-section, commenced an inquiry under paragraph (1) (a) in relation to the application as it related to that land or that part; or

(b) the land, or a part of the land, to which the application relates has been reserved, dedicated or otherwise set aside, under the law of the Northern Territory with effect from a time before the making of the application, for a public purpose (not being a specified public purpose) and the Minister, by notice published in the Gazette, declares that that land, or that part of that land, is not land to which paragraph (1) (a) relates,

the Commissioner shall not perform, or continue to perform, a function under paragraph (1) (a) in relation to the application as it relates to that land or that part.

`(2e) For the purposes of sub-section (2d), land is reserved, dedicated or otherwise set aside for a public purpose if the purpose is related to health, education, community development, fire prevention or control, quarantine, energy supply and conservation and all other matters specified in Regulation 4 of the Northern Territory (Self-Government) Regulations and, in particular, for a specified public purpose if it is reserved, dedicated or set aside:

(a) for forestry or re-afforestation purposes;

(b) for the recreation or amusement of the public;

(c) for the protection or conservation of wildlife;

(d) for the conservation of native flora;

(e) for the preservation or protection of places or buildings or historic interest;

(f) for memorial purposes;

(g) for scenic purposes;

(h) for long term geological or geophysical research;

(j) for aerodrome purposes;

(k) for Commonwealth War Graves purposes;

(m) for police purposes;

(n) as a water supply area, water control area or water catchment area;

(p) as a cemetery;

(q) as a monument;

(r) as a garbage reserve;

(s) as a commonage reserve;

(t) as a place of scientific interest.' ''.

Amendments negatived.

Amendments (by Mr Holding)-by leave-Agreed to:

Clause 25, page 17, lines 14 and 15, omit `the making of the application,', substitute `the commencement of this sub-section'.

Clause 25, page 17, line 24, insert `or stock reserve' after `route'.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 26 to 30-by leave-taken together.