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Thursday, 30 April 1987
Page: 2057

Senator KILGARIFF(11.20) —I note with interest the replies that the Minister for Resources and Energy (Senator Gareth Evans) is giving; they are quite good. I note too that he has said that the Northern Territory Government is to be invited to assist in the conduct of the exploration program. But there is no mention in this legislation of the Territory being involved in the mining program at Coronation Hill. In fact it appears that the Northern Territory is specifically excluded by this legislation from involvement in the development of the mineral resources in Kakadu. There appears to be absolutely no recognition of the rights of the Territory Government to become involved in assessment and development of resources within its own borders. Yet the Minister has recognised the adequacy of the Territory legislation in place because it appears that the terms and conditions attaching to exploration titles under this legislation correspond largely with those attaching to Territory title. Why has it been necessary then for the Commonwealth to ignore the perfectly adequate Northern Territory legislation and impose its own legislation with almost identical provisions relating to exploration titles?