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Saturday, 18 December 1993
Page: 5194


Senator CHAMARETTE (10.11 p.m.) —As I understand this, Senator Alston, it is simply a precaution that prevents states from compulsorily acquiring at a long distance ahead of any usage to which they might put the land. I have got an example at the moment where, in the Northern Territory, the people of Borroloola are unable to actually claim their middle island dreaming site because there is a town lease placed over that island. There is nothing on that island and nothing has ever been there except a legitimate area for native titleholders. However, because it has been classified as a town lease, it becomes unavailable. The amendment that I am proposing does nothing to assist the state to gain or lose any security of tenure over the area. It just provides some security to native titleholders that compulsory acquisition powers cannot be used in inappropriate ways that simply extinguish native title without actually being used for the purpose for which they have been stated. It has no effect whatsoever on the value of the land; it simply prevents extinguishment where it is not necessary.