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Wednesday, 1 December 1976
Page: 3081

Mr BRYANT (Wills) - I want to oppose clause 73. With proper respect for my colleague the honourable member for the Northern Territory (Mr Calder) and his impassioned defence of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly, let us transfer this to another medium. Clause 73 leaves certain responsibilities to the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly. That may very well be a sound procedure in some instances, but it is not in this instance. The Minister is responsible for a certain area of this legislation. The land councils and land trusts are also a part of the system. We have interposed the Legislative Assembly and we expect it to carry out certain complementary operations. This seems to me to be a totally unnecessary complication of the system. Regardless of the composition of the Legislative Assembly and of its political philosophy, I think it is totally wrong for us to implement legislation here which puts this final complication into the Act. It will only bedevil the system right from the beginning. I think it is an unwarranted concession to whatever happens to be the sacred State rights that prevail somewhere north of the boundary of the Northern Territory. I appeal to the Minister to take a good look at this clause and not to complicate the system. Australia is nearly ungovernable as it presently stands. To put this piece of nonsense into the situation is totally unnecessary. In fact, we ought to send that advice to Britain.

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