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Tuesday, 21 December 1993
Page: 5363

Senator COLLINS (Minister for Transport and Communications) (9.39 a.m.) —I will give what would be the most common situation. It certainly has occurred in my experience in the Northern Territory on a number of occasions, and has been resolved by agreement. If, for example, the native title rights have been extinguished, it may well be that an agreement can be reached. This is not forced on anyone, but the opportunity is provided by this measure for compensation to be paid in kind. The most obvious compensation that would be paid in kind would be other appropriate land.

  The commonest example that springs to mind where this was done was in respect of the stock routes question in the Northern Territory. Under the land rights act, the stock routes were made available for claim but were not necessarily the most suitable areas of land for Aboriginal people to use. By a long process of negotiation, what was commonly done in those cases was Aboriginal people agreed to forgo their claims to the stock routes in exchange for a piece of land which was more suitable for both them and the pastoral owner. That is the kind of situation which will be provided for under these provisions.

  I have been reminded that the excellent agreement that has been struck between the traditional landowners and Zapopan, the Mount Todd goldmine, is another example of where these arrangements can be made. For example, housing can be provided, training schemes can be provided, and so on. There are commitments to provide scholarships for school kids and so on. There is a whole range of things which an Aboriginal community might in fact greatly prefer to money.