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Tuesday, 30 May 1939

Mr HOLT (Fawkner) (Assistant Minister for Supply and Development) . - The Government does not propose to accept the amendment moved by the honorable member for Batman (Mr. Brennan), because it finds that ample power for the purpose which he has suggested already exists. It has been advised by its legal advisers that it is not satisfactory draughtmanship to incorporate in a subsequent measure powers which are already in existence under previous legislation. So far - as the acquisition of land is concerned the Commonwealth Government is given full power of compulsory acquisition under the provisions of the Lands Acquisition Act 1906-1936. Section 13 of that act reads -

13.   The Commonwealth may acquire any land for public purposes -

(a)   by agreement with the owner; or

(b)   by compulsory process.

So far as the compulsory acquisition of goods is concerned we are given full power under section 67 of the Defence Act to acquire compulsorily goods required for naval, military -and other defence purposes. [Quorum formed.'] The honorable gentleman sought information concerning the future, or ultimate ownership, of plant and buildings erected in connexion with annexes. Specific provision is made in any contract that the building, if pro vided by the Government, shall remain the property of the Government. . Similarly, specific provision is made in the contract that the plant is, and shall remain, the property of the Government. There is no danger, therefore, of any acquisition by long possession, or any other cause, by the contractor of property which is government property.

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