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Wednesday, 1 August 1906


Senator KEATING (Tasmania) (Honorary Minister) . - It will be remembered that on clauses 10 and 11 there was a good deal of discussion. It was pointed out that in clause 10 it was provided that the purchase money might be paid to the person who, under the Act, was empowered to sell and convey the land. We had already provided in clause 9 that persons having limited interests should have the power to sell and convey the land. We provided in clause 10 that the purchase money should be paid to such person, but there was no reference made as to the application of the purchase money by such person amongst those others who might be, perhaps, more interested in the land than he himself, although he held the legal estate. Then in clause11, we had this provision -

Any such purchase money or compensation, when paid to a tenant in tail or for life, guardian, committee of a lunatic or idiot, executor, administrator, or person having a partial or qualified interest only, and not entitled to sell or convey except under the provisions of this Act, shall be applied in some one or more of the following manners : -

(a)   in the discharge of any debt or encumbrance affecting the land, or affecting other land settled therewith to the same or the like uses, trusts, and purposes; or

(b)   in the purchase of other land, or of Government securities of the Commonwealth or of a State, to be conveyed, limited, and settled upon the like uses, trusts, and purposes, and in the same "manner, as the land in respect of which the purchase money or compensation was paid ; or

(c)   if the purchase money or compensation has been paid in respect of any buildings acquired under the authority of this Act in removing or replacing the buildings or substituting others in their stead ; or

(d)   in such manner as the High Court or the

Supreme Court directs; or

(e)   in payment to any person becoming absolutely entitled to the purchase money or compensation.

I promised to reconsider both these clauses with a view to bringing down a clause which would meet the views of honorable senators, as indicated in their criticism. It is proposed to omit the clauses, and insert a new clause dealing comprehensively with the whole subject. The provision reads as follows : -

1.   Where any land is sold or conveyed to the Commonwealth by or acquired from any person who was not entitled to sell or convey the land to the Commonwealth except under this Act, the purchase money or compensation may be applied as follows : -

That would be where a person was disabled from selling otherwise than by the provisions of the Act -

(a)   With the consent of all parties interested, the purchase money or compensation may be paid to a trustee, subject to such trusts as are declared by a deed of trust approved by the Attorney-General ; or

That is inserted in the forefront of the methods to enable, if possible, the parties to first of all resort to negotiations for a settlement of terms which would be mutually agreeable -

(b)   The purchase money or compensation may be paid to a Registrar of the High Court or the Master-in-Equity or other proper officer of the Supreme Court to be applied in accordance with any order of the Court.

That is a method which, no doubt, would be adopted by a person who felt that he was in the position of a trustee, and did nor like to accept any responsibility or incur any risk. He would immediately turn and deposit the, money with the Registrar of the High Court or the Master-in-Equity, or other proper officer of the Supreme Court, and as honorable senators are aware,the term " Supreme Court " is defined in clause 5 as the Supreme Court of the State in which the land is situated. Sub-clause 2 of the proposed new clause reads as follows : -

2.   The High Court or the Supreme Court may, on the application of any person interested, order any purchase money or compensation to be applied as follows : -

Then come paragraphs a, b, c, d, and e, worded the same as the paragraphs in present clause 11. Then, as was suggested during the discussion on clauses 10 and 11, we adopt another provision for dealing with compensation where the amount involved is not very considerable. I think that on that occasion I mentioned that in the Lands Clauses Consolidation Act of Great Britain, there are differential provisions regulating the amount of compensation. We adopt a similar principle here. It has been adopted in conformity with the expressions of feeling manifested in Committee -

Provided that where the purchase money or compensation does not exceed £50, it may be paid to the persons who would for the time being be entitled to the rents and profits of the land.

Sub-clause 4 provides that where any infant, lunatic, or idiot is entitled to receive any of the purchase money or compensation, his consent may be given by a committee or guardian, or the money may be paid to his committee or guardian. Honorable senators will remember the discussion we had with regard to the application of purchase money in cases where there was more than one person interested. I think the amendment covers the whole range of the criticism made in Committee, and should meet with the acceptance of honorable senators, to whom I feel very much indebted.


Senator Dobson - What about the fees on paying the money into Court and taking it out again?


Senator KEATING - I think that, in most instances, there is a disposition on the part of people to avoid having recourse to the Court, and they will try to come to some mutual agreement. But payment into Court is the safest thing for all parties. It may be that the Court will recognise that, in instances such as these, if the general scale of fees is too high, they should be lowered.


Senator Dobson - There might be a sliding scale.

Clause negatived.

Amendment (by Senator Keating) agreed to -

That the following new clause be inserted : - 10. 1. Where any land is sold or conveyed to the Commonwealth by or acquired from any person who was not entitled to sell or convey the land to the Commonwealth except under this Act, the purchase money or compensation may be applied as follows : -

(a)   With the consent of all parties interested, the purchase money or compensation may be paid to a trustee subject to such trusts as are declared by a deed of trust approved by the AttorneyGeneral : or

(b)   The purchase money or compensation may be paid to a Registrar of the High Court or the Master-in-Equity or other proper officer of the Supreme Court to be applied in accordance with any order of the Court.

2.   The High Court or the Supreme Court may, on the application of any person interested, order any purchase money or compensation to be applied as follows : -

(a)   in the discharge of any debt or encumbrance affecting the land, or affecting other land settled therewith to the same or the like uses, trusts, and purposes ; or

(b)   in the purchase of other land, or of Government securities of the Commonwealth, or of a State, to be conveyed, limited, and settled upon the like uses, trusts, and purposes, and in the same manner, as the land in respect of which the purchase money or compensation was paid ; or

(c)   if the purchase money or compensation has been paid in respect of any buildings acquired under the authority of this Act - in removing or replacing the buildings or substituting others in their stead ; or

(d)   in such manner as the High Court or the Supreme Court directs; or

(e)   in payment to any person becoming absolutely entitled to the purchase money or compensation.

3.   Provided that where the purchase money or compensation does not exceed Fifty pounds it may be paid to the persons who would for the time being have been entitled to the rents and profitsof the land.

4.   Where any infant, lunatic, or idiot is interested in or entitled to receive any purchase money or compensation his consent to any application or disposition of the purchase money or compensation may be given by a committee or' guardian on his behalf or the purchase mosey or compensation may be paid to bis committee or guardian.

Postponed clause 11 negatived.

Postponed clause 16 (Approval of acquisition).







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