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Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Page: 1069

Senator CHRIS EVANS (Western AustraliaMinister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (17:39): As I explained earlier, we think the amendment moved by Senator Ludlam is unnecessary because the effect is the same, but we have had advice that we ought not seek to reflect it in the bill as it is now. It is obvious that people have to comply with the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act because it is the law; it already exists. While I understand what Senator Ludlam is seeking to do, we say that that is already required and that, although we cannot support it going into the act, we do not have a policy difference here in the sense that the act has to be complied with. I did not quite understand all of the construction of your question but the rules of nomination expressly state that a land council must comply with the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act. So we think the amendment is unnecessary, but we actually think we are at one in a policy sense and that the bill as drafted will ensure compliance with that act.