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Friday, 15 June 1984
Page: 3204

Senator MacGIBBON(9.15) — With respect to clause 9, why do the emergency powers precede the normal powers in the drafting of the Bill? Is it assumed that the Act will be invoked more often in response to emergencies than in any other mode? Clause 9 states:

Where the Minister-

(a) receives an application made orally or in writing by or on behalf of an Aboriginal or a group of Aboriginals seeking the preservation or protection of a specified area from injury or desecration; and

(b) is satisfied-

(i) that the area is a significant Aboriginal area; and

(ii) that it is under serious and immediate threat of injury or desecration,

he may make a declaration in relation to the area.

How does the Minister confirm the validity of the claim? How does he get the satisfaction as per clause 9 (1) (b)? In clause 10 we find the same requirements imposed upon the Minister in sub-clause (1) paragraphs (a) and (b), yet paragraphs (c) and (d) states:

(c) has received a report under sub-section (4) in relation to the area from a person nominated by him and has considered the report and any representations attached to the report; and

(d) has considered such other matters as he thinks relevant,

Would that not be part of the normal operation in the emergency case as well? Clause 10 (2) states:

Subject to this Part, a declaration under sub-section (1) has effect for such period as is specified in the declaration.

Is that an infinite period? Is there no time limit for the application of the declaration?