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Monday, 20 December 1993
Page: 5321

Senator ELLISON (9.20 p.m.) —That is the situation when the Commonwealth minister determines that alternative state measures can apply. But the state has to comply with the Commonwealth regime for that to happen. So the state is not free; it is still hidebound in the conduct of its own legislation. It cannot act concurrently unless the Commonwealth minister says, `Well, it has to be done that way or it cannot be done at all'. That is the problem.

  The state might want to do things differently. The Commonwealth government has said that it wants a unified native title system, but there are different requirements in each state. For instance, the mining law of Victoria is quite different to the mining law of Western Australia. Is the Commonwealth going to say that there is a unified, universal scheme across the country that a state has to fit into in order to be able to do this, or will the government do it on a state by state basis?