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Wednesday, 9 November 1910
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Senator VARDON (South Australia) . - I wish to emphasize the point which has been raised by Senator Gould. This clause imposes no time limit within which the Government should exercise their power of resumption. ' It does not seem fair that, twenty or thirty years hence, they should be able to resume land at its value at the time of the passing of this Act. Certain land may be worth very little at the present moment. But if a man works it for twenty or thirty years, surely he has a right to its value at the time of its resumption.

Senator McGregor - He will get the value which he has created - that is to say, the value of the improvements.

Senator VARDON - The value of the improvements to the Government?

Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - No, their value to him.

Senator VARDON - A man's interest in land may be almost sentimental. It may be his home.

Senator de Largie - There is not much sentimentality in s. d.

Senator VARDON - I would not like anybody to forcibly take my home from me. If, thirty years ago, I had built a home, I would not like the Government to come to me and say, " We are going to take your land from you, and we intend to pay you its value thirty years ago." That would not be just. Consequently, I think that some period ought to be fixed within which the Government should exercise its right of purchase.

Senator McColl - This is only a temporary measure, and the arrangement can be altered when the permanent measure is brought forward.

Senator VARDON - But what we agree to now, will then be quoted as a precedent from which we ought not to depart. It is all very well to talk about the improvements upon land being community-created. But if a man holds land, and works it, he is entitled to something.

Senator Needham - Under this amendment he Will be compensated.

Senator VARDON - No. We simply say to him that if the Government require his land for waterworks purposes, fifty years hence, they are at liberty to acquire it at its present value.

Senator Chataway - A man may not be the original owner of the land.

Senator VARDON - And the buyer may say that its unimproved value is represented by its unimproved - value ten years ago. ' I trust that the Government will agree to the insertion of a time limit in the clause.

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