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Saturday, 18 December 1993
Page: 5192

Senator PANIZZA (9.59 p.m.) —If the minister gets up, I will sit down again. I take it from Senator Chamarette's amendment that this amendment is attempting to get around the royalty system.

Senator Chamarette —Yes, it is.

Senator PANIZZA —I heard the honourable senator on that one. If this amendment looked like getting any support, except from the Greens over there, it would be the first move to get around the fact that all royalties belong to the Crown. That is still enshrined in legislation but this bill specifically excludes native titleholders getting the right of royalties. It also positively discriminates against everyone else in Australia that holds freehold land.

Senator Chamarette —Not everyone.

Senator PANIZZA —Just a minute: I am on my feet now; other honourable senators can get up when I sit down. It positively discriminates against anyone who has got freehold land. Honourable senators can shake their heads as much as they like because I know what I am talking about. With freehold land, royalties, of course, still belong to the Crown. I cannot work out compensation with a mining company on the basis of royalties; I just cannot do it. Why should any other group get it—

  Senator Margetts interjecting

Senator PANIZZA —Senator Margetts can scream as much as she likes; I know what I am talking about. I am not able to do it on freehold land. I am not going to support and, as far as I am concerned, I am going to make sure no-one supports the idea of giving rights to a group that the rest of Australians have not got. As I have already said, I cannot do a deal on the basis of royalties with a mining company on my own freehold land. All I can do is get some compensation for the loss of use of that ground and the loss of use of the income. They basically work it out over the next 50 years and discount it to the present day rate. That is how it works, not on royalties.

  Agreements between land-holders and mining companies have got to be registered in the warden's court. Senator Margetts and Senator Chamarette are from Western Australia and they should know; agreements have got to be registered. If any agreement is attempted to be registered in the warden's court on that line it is struck down. So if honourable senators know how the law of royalties works, I do not see why they should get up, except as a political stunt to play to the grandstand, or whatever they play to. That is the only reason they are moving it because it is exactly contrary to the present law of royalties.