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Wednesday, 20 March 1968

Mr SNEDDEN (Bruce) (Minister for Immigration) - I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

This Bill has three companions, the Native Members of the Forces Benefits Bill 1968, Removal of Prisoners (Territories) Bill 1968 and the Science and Industry Research Bill 1968, which I will immediately ask leave to introduce in turn. These Bills are in fact companions to the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Bill which was recently introduced by my colleague the Minister for National Development (Mr Fairbairn). In this speech I will explain in turn the four Bills which I will introduce.

The Acts to which these Bills relate make provision for certain powers and functions to be exercised by the Minister for Territories. It is now necessary to take account of the creation of the Department of Externa] Territories and to provide in the Acts concerned that, subject to one exception, powers and functions formerly exercised by the Minister for Territories should now be exercisable by the Minister for External Territories (Mr Barnes). The exception to which I have referred occurs in the Fisheries Bill.

The Minister for Primary Industry (Mr Anthony) has for long been .responsible for the Northern Territory of Australia in relation to the Commonwealth's fisheries legislation. In addition, it has been the practice in the past to link the administration of the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands with that of the Northern Territory. By way of continuation of this practice, it has been decided to include the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands in the area for which the Minister for Primary Industry is responsible in relation to fisheries and to provide for the exercise of certain powers under the Act by the Minister for External Territories in relation to the other Territories that do not form part of the Commonwealth. The purpose of the Bills which honourable members now have before them is to give effect to the formal changes in administration to which I have just referred, and I commend the Bills to the House accordingly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Beaton) adjourned.

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