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Monday, 20 December 1993
Page: 5335

Senator CRANE (10.30 p.m.) —Once again the minister is jumping to conclusions. Let me try to do it another way. It is clear from the minister's answer that the owners of those stations now, if another group or community of indigenous people cannot have a successful claim—is the minister listening?

Senator Gareth Evans —Yes.

Senator CRANE —I am letting the minister clarify it. I do not to want to rush him because we need to get the answer right.

Senator Gareth Evans —What would you do if you got the right answer? Would you vote for the bill?

Senator CRANE —No, but I think it is important that we establish this. I have had requests from a significant number of the current owners of those pastoral leases, who are Aboriginal people, to address these matters and I want to do it properly on their behalf. I am not being flippant; I am being very serious about this. It is clear from the minister's answer that, if no native title can be established by another community, then that can be converted to native title. Do we agree on that? I think the adviser nodded.