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Friday, 17 December 1993
Page: 5078


Senator SPINDLER (11.38 p.m.) —I believe that the legislation passed by the WA government is the best reason that can be furnished both for clause 10 in the bill and for the Australian Democrats' amendment. It may be true what Senator Harradine says; that is, that the further clarification that our amendment provides is legally and constitutionally unnecessary. But I think it is important not to lose sight of the main purpose of this bill, which is to confirm native title, in turn, confirmed by the High Court decision.

  It is absolutely essential to ensure that one state cannot make a mockery of the judgment and of legislation that for once and for the first time in our history provides justice for Aboriginal people across this nation. We cannot have this subverted—no matter how much some senators would like to do that. I believe it is absolutely essential. Although the Democrats' amendment may be a clarification, it is one that puts on record the purpose of this legislation. It puts on record the essential justice that is provided by this legislation for Aboriginal people. The power has been provided by the 1967 referendum, which ensured that the Commonwealth has the power to provide such justice for Aboriginal people. It must not be subverted.


Senator Crane —I raise a point of order. That was a disgusting reflection on my state and I ask that it be withdrawn.

  The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Zakharov)—There is no point of order.