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Wednesday, 20 March 1957

Mr FAIRHALL (Paterson) (Minister for the Interior and Minister for Works) . - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

There is some doubt as to whether, under the Lands Acquisition Act 1955 as it now stands, the Attorney-General and the Minister for the Interior are able to delegate any of their functions in respect of the disposal of land that was acquired under the provisions of the Lands Acquisition Act 1906-1936, and, in order to save time and to simplify administration, it is proposed to amend section 3 of the act to rectify the position.

It is also proposed to amend section 15 of the present act. Under this section, in its present form, copies of notices of acquisition for lodgment at the State Titles Offices must be certified " under the hand of the Crown Solicitor ". The function of certifying such copies is merely a mechanical one, and its importance is lessened by the fact that the original notice of acquisition is publicly available in the " Gazette ". It is, therefore, considered that this function could properly be performed by a Deputy Crown Solicitor, Acting Deputy Crown Solicitor, or other responsible officer in an office of the Crown Solicitor. The proposed amendment will enable copies to be certified by the Crown Solicitor or an officer of the Attorney-General's Department authorized by the Crown Solicitor to certify such copies.

The amendment to section 60 is intended to clarify the section and to ensure that it applies to land that has become vested in the Commonwealth by a means which may not be aptly described as " acquisition " - for example, by a vesting under section 85 of the Constitution. The final clause is for the purpose of validating existing delegations. The bill, which will clear up these points and assist in administration, is commended for the favorable consideration of the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Pollard) adjourned.

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