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Thursday, 18 October 1984
Page: 1968

Senator KILGARIFF —I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. Will the Government introduce national uniform Aboriginal land rights legislation if it is returned to government at the election?

Senator RYAN —As I explained to Senator Kilgariff yesterday, the Government has a commitment to uniform principles which it wishes to see implemented in legislation throughout Australia. Where those principles can be implemented by State legislation, that is a satisfactory implementation of our policy. The point about uniformity is the uniformity of principles. The question which I think we should be seeking to resolve is how we can have complementary Federal and State legislation where that is desirable. Where State legislation perfectly properly implements our principles, there would be no need for any further Federal legislation. As we are in an evolutionary stage with regard to some State legislation, this is not an appropriate time to say whether the uniformity of principles will be implemented by Federal legislation covering some States or by State legislation.