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Tuesday, 21 December 1993
Page: 5361

Senator COLLINS (Minister for Transport and Communications) (9.28 a.m.) —I think it is fair to say that the Queensland legislation appears to be broadly consistent with the aims of the Commonwealth, but the actual discussions and decisions that need to be taken by the responsible Commonwealth minister have not yet been taken. As I said before, the entire policy thrust of this legislation is to provide for the unquestionable constitutional position of the Commonwealth in making laws in respect of Aboriginal people and to also, at the same time, sensibly preserve the matter of land management with the states—where it rightly should be. It is a question of finding arrangements in discussions with the states. I have no doubt that such arrangements can sensibly be found to allow the states to manage their land while at the same time being consistent with the criteria for fairly administering the Native Title Act.