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Wednesday, 16 November 1927
Page: 1441

Senator McLACHLAN - The honor able the Minister for Home and Territories has supplied the following answer to the honorable senator's question: -

The laws relating to mineral oil in New Guinea and Papua provide -

(a)   that prospecting and mining for mineral oil in those territories may be conducted only by companies, two-thirds of whose shares are held by or on behalf of British subjects;

(b)   that a lessee must refine, or have refined, in the territory or in some approved part of Australia so much of the crude oil produced from the leased land as the Administrator or the Lieutenant-Governor, as the case may be, directs:

(c)   that a lessee must not ship or export any crude oil, in the case of New Guinea, to any place outside the territory, and in the case of Papua to any place other than Australia, without the consent of the Administrator or the Lieutenant-Governor;

(d)   that no company shall hold more than one licence to search for mineral oil, unless specially authorized thereto by the Administrator or the Lieutenant-Governor ;

(e)   that the holder of a licence to search for mineral oil who discovers payable oil shall have an exclusive right to one mineral oil reward lease of four square miles;

(f)   that the area of an ordinary mineral oil lease shall not exceed160 acres, and that an application for a mineral oil lease may be granted or refused at the discretion of the Administrator or the LieutenantGovernor ;

(g)   that a licence or a lease shall not be assigned or transferred without the consent of the Administrator or of the Lieutenant-Governor.

It is considered that the public interest is adequately safeguarded by these provisions.

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