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Friday, 17 December 1993
Page: 5064

Senator TAMBLING (10.23 p.m.) —I am very concerned at the implication for beaches, and I do not think the minister should just seek to wash it aside with weasel words and future impossible considerations. It is a very real threat for all of Australia, and it has major implications. I ask the minister what specific representations were made on this issue by groups such as the Northern Territory government. Are there any conflicts in this particular area that will impact, because of the operation of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act, Northern Territory, on this specific clause and how it will be implemented?

  Similarly, given that the government has recently undertaken a very important inquiry into the coastal zone resulting in a report by the Resource Assessment Commission in which the interests of indigenous people were very specifically addressed in a full chapter, I would have thought this was a matter on which the government would have taken not only legal advice but also political advice because the dispossession of beach areas right around Australia would have an impact on any local community, on local government in those particular communities and, very specifically, on the tourist industry. I am concerned that the minister has obviously taken the Greens' amendment on board in this regard, without such a critical analysis or appraisal.

  Would the minister also clarify for me whether this is part of a series of other consequential amendments that flow from this particular one, and what will the import be of any subsequent amendments that arise later in our consideration.