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Friday, 17 December 1993
Page: 5060

Senator PANIZZA (10.04 p.m.) —I have one small question. Senator Alston raised this matter initially. It seems to me that native title is to be held by a body corporate, but the minister has said that there could be an amendment and that title could be held on trust by a body corporate or by a public company whose shareholders are the common law titleholders. There are a couple of questions that flow on from that.

  Is the government considering any other form of titleholder? Is it considering a single person as the titleholder—or even two or three individuals? If that is the case, perhaps the minister can tell me whether he intends to move an amendment to the effect that title can be held by a single person or a combination of persons. What would happen in the case of succession; that is, on the death of the titleholder? If the title is to be held by a company whose shareholders are common law holders, will it be a private company? I think a private company still has a limit of 50 shareholders. What would be the situation if the number of common law holders in a private company exceeded 50?