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Friday, 27 July 1906

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) (Honorary Minister) . - Sub-clause 3 of this clause has been inserted as an indication that the rent to be paid in respect of the temporary occupation of land shall not necessarily constitute the whole of the compensation to which the owner or occupier of such land is entitled. The clause provides that the Minister shall pay rent for the temporary occupation of land, and sub-clause 3 provides that -

Nothing in this section shall take away the right of any person to compensation for damage Sustained by reason of the exercise of any power under this part of this Act.

With regard to that compensation, an owner of the land would naturally look at the part of the Bill, headed in large letters, " Part IV., Compensation," and in clause 32 he would find a statement in very wide and general terms that he is entitled to compensation for temporary occupation. In sub-clause 2 of that clause, he would find that it is provided that -

Where the Minister or any person authorized by him enters into the temporary occupation of any land, the compensation shall include -

(a)   damage of a temporary as well as of a permanent character ; and

(b)   the value of all clay, stone, gravel, earth, timber, wood, materials or things taken for carrying out the public purpose.

It will be admitted that it is desirable that we should have all general provisions as to compensation as far as possible included in one part of the Bill. We are dealing in this part of the Bill with the powers of the Minister in relation to lands. One is the power of temporary occupation of what might be called adjacent lands, subject to the payment of rent, with a specific intimation in sub-clause 3 of clause 25 that the payment of rent does not neces- saril v prevent the owner of the land from claiming other compensation. As I have said, he would naturally look to the part of the Bill dealing with compensation to ascertain what are the principles as to compensation enacted by this Bill. He would find general provisions for compensation in all cases of damage, and specific provision in the case of damage resulting from temporary occupation, and' the taking from temporarily occupied land of material of any kind. I think that it is better that the Bill should be allowed to stand as it is, and that those who have to work under it will find that its arrangement is as good as can be desired.

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