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Monday, 20 December 1993
Page: 5334

Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Foreign Affairs) (10.29 p.m.) —This clause is all about the situation where people who would otherwise be native titleholders of the land in question but for the probable extinguishment of that title as a result of common law principles applying to the lease can nonetheless get that native title back if they are the owners of the pastoral lease now in question and if they have that status as satisfying the criteria that they need to satisfy to be determined to be a native titleholder. That is the way in which the clause is intended to operate.

Senator Crane —Now you haven't got it; that is the problem.

Senator GARETH EVANS —That is what the clause is about. I was just coming to grips with which clause it was. That is the one that involves the de facto revival of native title, the native title equivalent, notwithstanding its probable formal extinguishment in situations where a pastoral lease is acquired or is owned by a particular Aboriginal group which would otherwise have the native title. That is what it means. Those opposite might have some policy objection to it, but I do not think there is too much argument about what it means.