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Thursday, 21 August 1969

Senator WEBSTER (Victoria) - I wish to direct to the Minister a question in relation to the powers of an authorised person under clause 6 and the manner in which authorised persons will enter premises. Am 1 correct in believing that a person authorised by the Minister or a person who accompanies an authorised officer - there may be any number of people - is able without notification to enter any property and commence activities? Is he in fact able to take on to the land vehicles, equipment and other things he considers necessary and there do such things as he believes to be required? I may be incorrect in imagining that there is no need for an authorised officer to notify the owner of the property he wishes to enter. As I understand it, he must notify a property owner if he intends to engage in trimming trees or other such work on the property. I ask the Minister to make that position clear.

I have raised this query because I well recall officers of a State government department entering a property with which 1 am connected. They used a string of five vehicles including quite large 4-wheel drive vehicles. Without notifying the owners of the property they took their vehicles straight through a standing crop although they could without much difficulty have driven on the other side of a fence and thus avoided damage. Litigation or other action in respect of damages may be most embarrassing to an owner. T believe that this legislation should contain a provision that a property owner is to be notified of an intention to enter his property.

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