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Saturday, 18 December 1993
Page: 5198

Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Foreign Affairs) (10.31 p.m.) —Under clause 22 of the bill, compensation has to be payable on acquisition, but the quantum of the compensation that would be payable would depend on the extent to which the interference with native title had occurred. So if there is simply an acquisition in relation to which no steps have been taken to implement the public purpose and there has been, as a result, no extinguishment of the native title, the amount of compensation payable would be, presumably to that extent, much less.

  It might conceivably be that there would be a two-stage exercise: an application for compensation at the time of the acquisition and then, if the thing were in a sense warehoused, and nothing happened pursuant to the acquisition for some time, and there had been no extinguishment of the native title in question, there might be a compensation determination which would be quite limited in scope.

  Then, if some act were taken to implement the acquisition to apply it for some appropriate purpose which then resulted in the extinguishment of the native title, under those circumstances an appropriately larger quantum of compensation would be payable. In that particular context, I do not think a second bite is excluded by the legislation as it presently stands.

  In practice one would envisage that the usual situation, particularly with the incentives now provided by this clause, would be that an acquisition would only take place in circumstances where it is proposed to use the land for some purpose pursuant to the acquisition. As a result, the compensation payment could be determined in one go, reflecting the fact of the extinguishment that has occurred thereby.