Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Friday, 27 July 1906

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) (Honorary Minister) . - This alteration in the existing law is a restriction on the Commonwealth authorities, who are enabled to exercise the powers conferred by clause 23 only when a public purpose is being carried out on any land. ' The power under the present law and the power it is proposed to confer toy clause 23 is to enter upon land - not the land that is required for the public purpose, but land which may be within a distance of 200 yards, which must not be a garden, orchard, plantation, park, or such other property, anc! which must not be nearer the dwelling house of the owner than 500 yards. It is obviously necessary, ┬░in many instances, that over and above the land which is actually required for the public purpose, adjacent land, the property perhaps, of the same owner or of another owner, should be entered upon for the due execution of the particular public purpose. It is well to remember that we acquire the land the moment there is the Gazette notice of the compulsory acquisition ; and, under the present law, it is competent for us to enter any adjacent land under the conditions I have already mentioned. The Commonwealth, or the Departments which are associated with these works, are not seeking to maintain the extensive powers they have now of entering what mav be called adjoining land.

Senator Millen - Have those powers been abused?

Senator KEATING - I do not know that the powers have been abused, but this provision is distinctly in favour of the private owner - it leans towards the private owner rather than to the Commonwealth. If we do not want these extensive powers, I do not see that there is any necessity to extend them beyond the limit proposed by the clause under consideration. I do not think there is any necessity for the power to enter adjoining lands of the same or some other owner, and to use them temporarily, unless we enter the land with the actual object of executing the particular purpose in respect of which the land is acquired. That should be the determining point, namely, that we are entering on the land for business, so to speak - that we are entering in pursuit of the particular public purpose. The fact of having acquired or purchased other land for a public purpose should not be the determining fact. I hope that the Committee will allow the clause to stand as at present, and permit the right to enter adjoining lands to be based on the proceedings in the actual execution ofthe public purpose, rather than on the acquisition of adjacent land.

Suggest corrections