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Friday, 23 August 1985
Page: 308

Senator TEAGUE(4.00) —I refer to clause 4 of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Amendment Bill and to the section that is to be inserted. I have three questions relating to three of the terms used in that proposed new sub-section. The first concerns the reference to `the Land Council in the area'. I ask: Why are those words used rather than `the Central Land Council', when the Central Land Council is the land council in the area? Secondly, whilst the term `Land Trust' is unexceptionable with capitals for `land' and for `trust', I do not know of any schedule to this amendment which gives any further definition of that land trust. Is it contemplated that the exact persons who will make up the trust are to be determined through the process of a land commissioner having a hearing in the way in which all other land claims have been proceeded with, or will the Central Land Council by its own fiat determine the exact persons who will make up that trust? By what procedure will the land trust be defined?

The third question relates to the lease. The lease is referred to in the proposed new sub-section with one overriding pre-condition; that is, that it will enable the Director to hold the land for the purposes of the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1975. That means that the land will be used for purposes that are strictly defined in that Act. I ask: Does that Act allow the excision or the definition of some parts of the land that could be used as living areas for Aboriginal people, or is that expressly not allowed by the Act to which the Director and the trust have to subscribe in the agreement determined by the relevant land council? I ask those three questions of the Minister for Education (Senator Ryan) and I believe that it will be of help for us to have specific reassurances on those matters.