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Friday, 27 July 1906

Senator McGREGOR (South Australia) . - I would prefer that a more definite provision should be made. I entirely agree with Senator Millen that because a quarry or brick-field had not been worked on a Sunday orbecause the proprietor had knocked off work in order to take a holiday, it would be very improper if a representative of the Commonwealth Government could go upon the land and occupy it. I think that the term " commonly," used in section 53 of the existing Act, is so indefinite that it might lead to endless litigation, that is, if there was any necessity for temporarily occupying any land. In my opinion it would be far better to fix a period, say six or twelve months, within which the quarry had been worked. Perhaps Senator Millen or Senator Symon, particularly the latter, might suggest an amendment to carry out that idea. I think that they will agree with me that. a provision to that effect would be more definite, because, unless a definition of "commonly" were inserted in the interpretation clause, it would be difficult to gather what was meant. If the provision be left as it is, however, we might define "in actual work" in the interpretation clause, but certainly I think that a more suitable word than " commonly ' ' might be used.

Senator Sir JOSIAHSYMON (South to suggest something which would meet the case, but I am perfectly certain that the expression "commonly worked or used" does absolutely meet the case. I would point out to Senator McGregor that it would be impossible to lay down any arbitrary rule. Suppose that we were to fix the time at three or six months. On the hills near my residence there are quarries on private lands, from which, perhaps, for six months in the year a stone is not taken. It is generally understood that these are quarries, and the district councils get stone from them. That is often the case with brick works, too, as I know places which, for many reasons, are shut up for a time.

Senator McGregor - Suppose that a person who desired to block the Government, or to do anything which was unfair, simply went and worked for a day in a quarry which : had been disused for years. Would the use of the word "commonly " prevent an attempt of that kind ?

Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON - Certainly it would.

Senator Keating - Perhaps "ordinarily" would be a good word to use.

Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON - I merely tookthe word " commonly " because it is used in section 53 of the existing Act. I think that it is a very good word, and that it would effectually prevent and meet the case suggested by Senator McGregor, because that would not be a quarry commonly worked. If a man worked a quarry for a period of six months in anticipation of a public undertaking, and every one in the locality believed that it had been disused, it would be as easy as possible to check him. If we used the word "commonly. " I should do nothing to help a man to do that kind of thing, because it would be dishonest. I prefer "commonly " to " ordinarily," because it is stronger. " Ordinarily " might impart an element of time, whereas " commonly ' ' means that it is aquarry which, although itmay be disused for even twelve months or two years, is nevertheless a quarry.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments (by Senator Sir Josiah Symon) agreed to -

That after the word " brickfield," in subclause 2, the following words be inserted : - " or other like place commonly worked or used for getting materials therefrom for the purpose of selling or disposing of the. same."

That the words " in actual work," in subclause 2, be left out.

Senator Sir JOSIAHSYMON (South Australia) [11.42]. - Before the clause passes, can the Minister tell us whether there is any particular object in apparently enlarging the power given in the existing Act for taking earth by side cuttings from land, depositing earth thereon, obtaining materials therefrom, for constructing or repairing the work and forming roads thereon ? I notice that in section 53 of the present Act no power is given to erect workshops, sheds, and buildings of a temporary character, and to manufacture goods or articles required for carrying out the public purposes'.

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