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Saturday, 18 December 1993
Page: 5166


Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Foreign Affairs) (6.01 p.m.) —It is true that there might conceivably be compensation payable in the situation where people come along later on and establish that they do in fact have native title. But it is not payable by the project or by the developers; it is payable by government. It is payable in the case of an act attributable to the Commonwealth by the Commonwealth; and payable, in the case of an act attributable to a state or territory, by the state or territory. That is a very important distinction. I think a lot of these banks, financial institutions and businesses are generally behaving in a tremulous way at the prospect of native title being further recognised and accepted. They are not sufficiently understanding of what this legislation is all about. There is nothing there that will impose additional burdens or liabilities on the project.