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Thursday, 30 April 1987
Page: 2061

Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Resources and Energy)(11.45) —I am not completely clear whether the existing interests to be picked up in the conservation zone will retain the status of Northern Territory interests or whether they will be given a new legal character by virtue of the acquisition of the pastoral leases in question. But I do not think so. My recollection-I cannot check this on the spot, I am afraid-is that they will retain the status of Northern Territory exploration interests for the moment but with additional conditions attached of the kind I described before. The crunch will come, if you like, when we get to the stage-if it does arise-of mining development taking place, in which case the interest there granted would be squarely pursuant to the regime I have just described, under the Commonwealth Lands Acquisition Act. My advice is that they stay Northern Territory interests for the moment but subject to this potential override with additional conditions being imposed. I can follow that up later and give a more detailed reply, if Senator Durack wishes.