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Monday, 20 December 1993
Page: 5310

Senator KEMP (8.21 p.m.) —I will press this point because this is one of the issues which a number of people in the mining industry have raised.

Senator Gareth Evans —What about pressing it when we get to the relevant area? Let us get on with the clause that is in front of us at the moment.

Senator KEMP —It relates to the topic that the minister has been canvassing with Senator Vanstone.

Senator Gareth Evans —I am doing that out of the goodness of my heart with Senator Vanstone, not because it is technically before us now in the committee stage of debate.

Senator KEMP —The question is extremely brief. While there is a vexatious claim it makes it almost impossible for a mining company or a pastoralist to raise loan funds. That is one of the big concerns.

  How long would it take to ensure that a vexatious claim does not remain on foot? If a vexatious claim was tossed out in a week there would not be much to worry about. But if a vexatious claim can remain on foot for months, or perhaps even years, that is a real problem. That would provide vexatious claimants with what they may see as a negotiating position with the person who holds the mining or pastoral lease.