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Saturday, 18 December 1993
Page: 5207

Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Foreign Affairs) (11.17 p.m.) —I think, with respect, Senator Alston has mistaken the effect of (aa). The vesting of the lease in a third party would itself accomplish the extinguishment. There are varying kinds of situations in which acquisitions are made. One situation is acquisition for the purpose of vesting the land in one or more third parties. That is one situation. There are lots of other situations, public purposes and so on, where it remains vested in Crown control. But in those circumstances where it is acquired for the purpose of vesting in a third party, the act of vesting in the third party would itself accomplish the extinguishment, and that is the point of (aa) in this particular context.

Senator Alston —The act would constitute the extinguishment, but it depends on whether you are able to grant the act unless the title has already been extinguished, so you cannot do it contemporaneously—

Senator GARETH EVANS —You are making that up as you go along, with respect. You have got to be able to grant a clear title but, if the fact of vesting the title in the third person is to accomplish the extinguishment, which would be achieved by the statutory provision, nothing in this act prevents any act that is done in giving effect to the purposes of this acquisition from extinguishing the native title rights and interests.

Senator Alston —So you accept that it would be an impermissible future act to purport to grant a lease that had native title rights attached to it?

Senator GARETH EVANS —In the absence of (aa), yes, but (aa) makes it permissible. That is the point of (aa).

  Question put:

  That the amendment be agreed to.