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Monday, 20 December 1993
Page: 5354


Senator GARETH EVANS (Minister for Foreign Affairs) (12.33 a.m.) —I cannot answer that question directly because the High Court has not given us a total set of guidelines for the way in which this will operate. This is a matter to be developed, I suppose, on a case-by-case adjudication by the High Court and, indeed, by the tribunals as to what will constitute the acquisition of native title and what might also constitute the loss of it. I simply cannot anticipate that. We are talking about common law with only one real case spelling it out and it is necessarily a process of evolution hereafter. I would like to be able to help the honourable senator further but I simply cannot. We have not been given enough guidance by the High Court so far to be able to reply fully to him.