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Friday, 27 July 1906

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - Whatever legislation we enact is subject to the provisions of the Constitution Act. It is quite an unnecessary parading of a simple and well-known fact to set out that this clause more than anyother is subject to the Constitution. Therefore I move -

That the words " subject to the Constitution," line 3, be left out.

Amendment agreed to.

Senator Sir JOSIAHSYMON (South Australia) [12.41]. - Sub-clause 3, which is new, requires considerable attention, and I think ought to be eliminated. Whatever compensation a State is entitled to get it should receive. In regard to land ordinarily acquired, apart from the Federal territory, there can be no question of rights of dominion, though there mightbe a question of rights of taxation. In regard to the acquisition of a quarter acre block of land it is absurd to talk about rights of dominion. The term is absolutelyillusory..

The question of imposing a land tax would have to be determined as a revenue problem. Again, why should not a State get compensation for severance, as well as any individual? Suppose that there was a block ofland upon which. State buildings were erected, or State industries carried on, and that, owing tothe paramount national necessity, the land was taken. Why should not the State get compensation for severance when damage had resulted therefrom? If we place the States, in regard to the compulsory acquisition of lands, in the same position and under the same disabilities as an individual owner, why should it not get the same advantages? It does not seem to me to be fair to give this right to the individual owner, and to take it away from the State. Again, in respect of any injury to other land of the State, why should not the State get compensation therefor? We are all agreed that the State should get no more than the private individual, but there is no reason why any favour should be shown to the latter.

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