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Wednesday, 1 August 1906

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - This provision apparently limits the Minister to giving six months' notice, and, in view of what has been said as to the business aptitude of Ministers, is there any necessity to limit the Minister to giving six months' notice ? I see no advantage in tying the Minister's hands. It might be desirable that he should be able to give nine months' notice. His Department might know that, in connexion with the carrying out of a public work, certain land would be required in nine months' time, and it might be desirable to give a. more extended notice to the owner or mortgagee of the land.

Senator Best - The Minister in such a case could delay giving notice.

Senator MILLEN - And in the meantime the mortgagor and mortgagee might agree to the erection of a building on the land. I am asking whether there is any advantage to be gained by limiting the notice which the Minister may give. If he knows that in nine months' time he will resume a piece of land, what earthly objection can there be to give him power to notify the parties concerned that it is his intention to do so? Why should he not do that, instead of keeping the secret to himself until three or four months before the time at which the resumption must take place. The Minister, or his Department, may foresee that in nine or twelve months' time it will be necessary, for the purpose of some public work, to acquire a certain portion of land, and I fail to see what objection there can be to giving the persons interested the longest possible notice. Under the clause, apparently, the Minister must wait until six months from the time the land is acquired before he can give notice of the intention to resume it.

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