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Monday, 20 December 1993
Page: 5249


Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Foreign Affairs) (12.52 p.m.) —The validation impact of Division 2 can certainly apply straight away without the tribunal getting up, for the reasons that I have said. To the extent that someone wants to pursue a compensation claim arising out of that—and a compensation claim will depend on a determination of actual invalidity before one can get started—then the tribunal will have to be in effect. Realistically, the pursuit of a claim of that kind is some little time away, some months away, and certainly by then the tribunal would be in effect. So the basic force of these provisions can apply without the tribunal; but some of the consequential implications of those provisions, namely, the pursuit of a compensation claim, would depend upon the tribunal being in force.

  We want to remove, as soon as possible, any of this sense of lingering uncertainty about the potential impact of native title in certain sorts of areas. One of the best ways of removing that lingering sense of uncertainty is to pass this bill as soon as possible and to proclaim into effect those many clauses of it which are designed to do just that and which do not depend for their operation in that sense on the existence of the tribunal. But I also say that it is our intention and hope that we have the tribunal in place anyway, even if not in full working order until some little time later.