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PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTERS--PROPOSED CENSURE

Suspensionof standing orders: Senator Chamarette, pursuant to contingent

notice, moved--That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would

prevent her moving a motion to provide for the consideration of a

matter, namely a motion to give precedence to a motion of censure of the

Prime Minister (Mr Keating), the Leader of the Government in the Senate

(Senator Gareth Evans) and the Minister for Primary Industries and

Energy (Senator Bob Collins) in relation to the use of Land Fund money.

Debate ensued.

Question put and passed.

Senator Chamarette moved--That a motion to censure the Prime Minister,

the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Gareth Evans) and

the Minister for Primary Industries and Energy (Senator Bob Collins) in

relation to the use of Land Fund money may be moved immediately and have

precedence over all other business this day till determined.

Question put and passed.

Prime Minister (Mr Keating), Leader of the Government in the Senate

(Senator Gareth Evans), Minister for Primary Industries and Energy

(Senator Bob Collins)--Proposed censure: Senator Chamarette moved--That

the Senate censures the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Government in

the Senate (Senator Gareth Evans) and the Minister for Primary

Industries and Energy (Senator Bob Collins) for misleading the Senate

and the people of Australia over the use of Land Fund money available

through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC)

when:

(a) on 11 May 1995, Senator Bob Collins said that Senator Campbell

was wrong to say that $20 million out of $24 million had been

allocated for land acquisition in the Northern Territory and

asserted that "the principal issue is that $42 million is

available to ATSIC for land acquisition, Senator, not $21

million', thereby seeking to represent ATSIC's decision in a

better, but inaccurate, light;

(b) on 9 November 1994, Senator Gareth Evans stated that "the

Government has agreed with the Northern Territory Government

that the allocation of new moneys to the land fund should not

lead to an increase in the amount of land claimed under the Land

Rights Act...', when the decision by ATSIC will cause a dramatic

increase in the amount of land claimed under the Native Title

Act; and

(c) an ATSIC Board Briefing Paper now reveals that an agreement had

been struck between the Prime Minister, ATSIC and a group of

"indigenous Land Fund Bill negotiators' about singling out the

Northern Territory for special treatment over the next 2 years

for land acquisitions from ATSIC's land acquisition and land

maintenance program.

Debate ensued.

Document: The Minister for Primary Industries and Energy (Senator

Collins) tabled the following document:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission--Land

acquisitions--Copy of ATSIC media release--Criticism of ATSIC land

acquisition funding decision unfounded, dated 11 April 1995.

Debate continued.

Debate was interrupted while Senator Troeth was speaking.

At 12.45 p.m.--