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Monday, 20 December 1993
Page: 5308

Senator VANSTONE (8.13 p.m.) —I understand that. I do not know whether the minister intends to beef up those clauses—

Senator Gareth Evans —Yes, there is an amendment. It has been circulated.

Senator VANSTONE —The tribunals at the very end may well, on any of these matters, have enough trouble deciding whether a claim is genuine. It is very easy, is it not, for someone just to register as a claimant? What is the process?

Senator Gareth Evans —Can we debate that when we get to it? If we debate everything when everything else is being discussed, we will never get to do anything.

Senator VANSTONE —I do not want to debate this process with the minister. However, I would appreciate the minister's outlining what he thinks the process is. He has said, `It is okay, in effect, because there might be a series of these frivolous claims'. How will that be obvious in the first instance? How, in the first instance, is the person who receives these proceedings—if one could call them that—or claims through the post, for example, going to have any idea as to whether they are genuine? There would have to be an almost all-knowing, all-seeing, omnipotent body of knowledge in the Aboriginal community.