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Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Page: 1069


Senator BOB BROWN (TasmaniaLeader of the Australian Greens) (17:36): I was impressed by Senator Ludlam's amendment and the reasons for it. I listened carefully to what Senator Scullion had to say and, in view of that, I do not understand why he objects to this amendment. The amendment from Senator Ludlam requires that a nomination made under section 5 of the act—if it becomes an act or taken to have been made—is of no effect unless the land council, in nominating the land as a potential site for a nuclear waste dump, has complied with the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976. I would have thought that Senator Scullion would want to make sure that Territory law was being heeded, albeit the nomination of the land as a potential site was made by the land council subject to its powers and obligations under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976. It simply ensures that compliance with Territory law is made. The question to the minister is: is that the case? I ask that specifically of the minister. I did listen carefully to his answer previously, but is the committee to understand that his advice—legal advice, of course—is that the nomination of the land as a potential site, which was made by the land council subject to its powers and obligations, is fully in accordance with the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 or will be? That is the question, not generally whether rights are being upheld but whether the act is being complied with. If there is legal advice, would the minister care to share it with the committee?