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Thursday, 11 June 1970

Mr FAIRBAIRN (FARRER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Attorney-General. Is it a fact that one of the Bills now before the House, namely the Territorial Sea and Continental Shelf Bill, will take sovereignty from the States in certain areas that are now shown on Commonwealth produced maps as State territory - that is, areas acquired by the States since federation by reclamation, port or harbour development or any enlargement of internal waters as a result of the 1958 convention on the continental shelf? Also, is it a fact that the Government has in mind handing back the sovereignty of these areas to the States in a later Bill yet to be introduced? Is this a case of Cabinet hath taken away and Cabinet hath given: blessed be the name of Cabinet?

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