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Saturday, 18 December 1993
Page: 5117


Senator MINCHIN (12.03 p.m.) —While the minister is working out what Senator O'Chee was asking, I would say that the government is inclined to dismiss our views as unduly partisan. But in relation to clause 18, I would draw the minister's attention to the analysis of this clause by the Parliamentary Library, a very worthy and learned analysis, in which it says:

In the case of pastoral leases which were validly granted, there will be no extinguishment of native title. If, therefore, the common law provides that native title may co-exist with a pastoral lease to the extent that it is not inconsistent with the lease, this bill will act to preserve that native title rather than extinguish it. This may lead to the absurd result—

And I emphasise `absurd'; these are the words of the Parliamentary Library—

that it may be in the interests of a pastoralist to argue that his or her lease would otherwise be invalid, in order to ensure the extinguishment of all native title, through the validation process.

I ask the minister why we should not accept the words of the Parliamentary Library that this leads to an absurd result.