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STANDING COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS
08/04/2009
Uranium Royalty (Northern Territory) Bill 2008
STANDING COMMITTEE ON ECONOMICS
Senate committee
Wednesday, 8 April 2009
Uranium Royalty (Northern Territory) Bill 2008
Final

CHAIR (Senator Hurley) —This is the third hearing on the inquiry into the Uranium Royalty (Northern Territory) Bill 2008. On 4 December 2008 the Senate referred the provisions of the bill to the committee for inquiry and report by 30 April 2009. The bill seeks to apply a uniform royalty regime to all new mining projects in the Northern Territory, including those containing uranium and other designated substances such as thorium. This would be achieved by essentially mirroring the existing profits based mineral royalty regime under the Northern Territory’s Minerals Royalty Act and applying it as a Commonwealth law.

These are public proceedings, although the committee may agree to a request to have evidence heard in camera or may determine that certain evidence should be heard in camera. I remind all witnesses that in giving evidence to the committee they are protected by parliamentary privilege. It is unlawful for anyone to threaten or disadvantage a witness on account of evidence given to a committee and such action may be treated by the Senate as a contempt. It is also a contempt to give false or misleading evidence to the committee. If a witness objects to answering a question, the witness should state the ground upon which the objection is taken and the committee will determine whether it will insist on an answer, having regard to the ground which is claimed. If the committee determines to insist on an answer, a witness may request that the answer be given in camera. Such a request may of course also be made at any other time.

[10.36 am]