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Saturday, 18 December 1993
Page: 5201


Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Foreign Affairs) (10.41 p.m.) —Your memory might be better than mine, but I seem to recall you asking me that question about 25 minutes ago.


Senator Crane —No.


Senator GARETH EVANS —Maybe I do you an injustice; maybe it was someone else. The truth of the matter is that that cannot be identified with absolute precision. It is just an act done pursuant to the acquisition, an act done to actually put into effect the public purpose. It is a matter for judgment, and ultimately, I guess, it is a matter for the courts, if it is contested, as to what constitutes such an act. All I am saying is that an act done in good faith to advance the purpose of the acquisition and which takes us down that particular path would be one sufficient to, I believe, accomplish the extinguishment. If it is just some notional, cosmetic thing like pegging out a site and pretending that one has done something for the implementation of the purpose, and nothing is done thereafter—


Senator Crane —I said survey.


Senator GARETH EVANS —Commission a survey, or something. By itself, if that was not followed up by further action, if it was just a little bit of an exercise to tuck the acquisition into bed and secure the extinguishment but with no real intention of going any further than that, that might not be enough. I cannot add anything to that. It is just a matter for determination on all the facts of the particular case.