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Monday, 20 December 1993
Page: 5294

Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Foreign Affairs) (5.33 p.m.) —If there is any contemplation that there might be native titleholders with rights in the area in question, they will have to be treated in the same way as freeholders would be in the area in question. The other option is compulsory acquisition of the interest necessary to enable the pipeline to be built. One way of identifying who the native titleholders are, in circumstances where, presumably, that is uncertain, would be through the non-claimant application procedure in clause 23, which we have discussed previously. There is a provision for the particular proposal to be announced. If that does not produce a response within a two-month period, one can go ahead and do the act validly, and so on. All the rest of that falls into place as we have discussed it previously, but that is the way it would work.