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Monday, 20 December 1993
Page: 5351


Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Foreign Affairs) (12.19 a.m.) —Yes, it could certainly sell the lease. The bank could sell the lease and take over the title and then dispose of it on the open market. That is certainly the case. The native title would be rather like the resumption situation that we mentioned before, would it not? Let me just check. In that situation, the native title equivalent interest would be left dangling with no lease, no physical possession of the land to be attached to it. The only significance would continue to be that, on the expiry of the lease, the native title would in fact resume its full force and effectiveness under those circumstances.

  This is an important practical issue. The banks will obviously, before lending or continuing to lend on these titles and these conversion situations, want to be confident about the capacity to resume and alienate the land in question. There is no inhibition on their capacity to do just that. Obviously, it is not in the economic interests of Aboriginal people who hold these pastoral leases thus converted to be denied the negotiability of the title in question.