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Wednesday, 25 July 1906

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) (Honorary Minister) . - Since last Friday the matter mentioned by Senator Clemons has been considered, and it is thought to be inadvisable to depart from the form in which the Bill has been submitted to Parliament. As a matter of fact, the present arrangement of the Bill offers many advantages to the Commonwealth, and imposes no disadvantages upon any State. It is not intended to convey, nor do I think that the Bill would be taken by any State as conveying, any discourtesy. We provide in the definition clause that the word "owner" shall include a State where the State in question happens to be the owner of Crown land. We are, of course, legislating for the right to resume land for public purposes - that as to say, for the purposes of the people of the Commonwealth. In Great Britain, to which reference was made last Thursday, the position is very different.

Senator Clemons - There cannot be a parallel with Great Britain, which is not a Federation having to do with State lands.

Senator KEATING - It was said that the legislation of Great Britain upon this subject was incorporated in more than one measure - that one Act gave authority to resume and another provided1 machines- for resumption. In the case of the people of the Commonwealth, we are indicating power to resume, and, at the same time, we are prescribing the method which shall be adopted in resumption. In Great Britain, on the other hand, the system is mostly applicable to the acquisition of land for the benefit of private persons. Consideration has been given to the suggestion, and it is thought that, in the interests of all concerned, the present form of the Bill is better.

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