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Friday, 17 December 1993
Page: 5059


Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Foreign Affairs) (9.58 p.m.) —I clarify, in case there is any uncertainty about this, that there is no provision that compulsorily requires native title to be vested in a body corporate. It is just an organisational option that is available to a group of native titleholders should it so choose voluntarily that particular form of organisation. As we all know with blocks of flats and all the rest of it, we might have some common body corporate administering on our behalf, but we are all members of it with an equal say and we voluntarily participate in that particular process. I do not know whether that is the best possible analogy, but it is an example of the voluntary nature of what is proposed here. Those provisions in the bill, when we get to them, that deal with body corporate have to be understood as simply creating an organisational option. They do not force anybody to do anything.