Questions Day 2 - Wednesday 29 November 2000
Parliamentary Record 26
Questions for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
QUESTIONS - Wednesday 29 November 2000 with any other businesses. They would not have anything to do with the government because they would their commercial processes would be exposed to all of their competitors. They would have no opportunity to be able to compete on a level playing field basis in that every other company they were competing against would know their business, but they would not know the other companys business. So there are commercial reasons, there are legal reasons, why that cannot be provided. But if they really wanted to know, they cannot accuse me of being secretive on the one hand and refuse full and detailed briefings on the other. They abrogated their responsibilities to Territorians, not me. NLC Actions against Mining Activities Ms CARTER to MINISTER for RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT The Northern Land Council recently lodged a complaint with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission in an effort to stop the Territory government processing mineral exploration applications on non-Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory. Can the minister confirm that the NLC yesterday filed an action against the Territory government in the Federal Court of Australia? If so, what is the nature of this action and what are its implications for mining in the Northern Territory? ANSWER Mr Speaker, indeed I can confirm that the Northern Land Council lawyers yesterday filed in the Federal Court an application for a restraining order against the Northern Territory government. The Northern Land Council seeks to restrain the government from processing applications for exploration and mining in relation to land or waters which are not Aboriginal land under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act. It wants the restraining order to remain in force until the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission has made a decision about the Northern Land Councils complaint to the Commission. The Federal Court in Sydney will hear the restraining order next Wednesday. So here we are. This is the Commonwealth Native Title Act in action. This is the act the Labor Party, the Democrats and the land councils said was the way to go. This is the act that the Labor Party and the Leader of the Opposition said would resolve the question of mining on land that might be affected by native title. This is the law they all wanted, including the Territory Labor Party spokeswoman, the member for Fannie Bay. Remember what she said: This is the way to go. They told everyone: You can trust us. We will all work together in good faith to deal with the issues and everything will be fine. Members inteijecting. Mr MANZIE: They inteiject to try and prevent the community being reminded of the way they have behaved on this issue. Members inteijecting. Mr SPEAKER: Order! We are getting too much inteijection. Just keep it down. You have every opportunity to ask questions. You have lots of opportunities to speak. Now, please keep the inteijections to a minimum. M r MANZIE: This is all on the record, Mr Speaker. This is available to people in the Hansard. They can look up the website and read the quotes of the member for Fannie Bay, leader of the local Labor Party, on how they treated this issue and how they were champions of this act. Labor rejected our alternative procedure in favour of proceeding down the path provided in the Commonwealth act. They rejected it. Mr Ah Kit inteijecting. Mr MANZIE: The member for Amhem now inteijects. We have him on the record in this Hansard. Every time this matter is brought up he stands up and says the Commonwealth act is the way to go, we can all work together and this will all solve our problems, time after time. Now he has the audacity to say: I wash my hands of it. It wasnt me. He cant get away with it. His hands are dirtier than anyone elses in this matter. He is complicit in what is going on in this country. Mr STIRLING: A point of order, Mr Speaker. We will have to tum the microphones down a bit. Mr SPEAKER: There is no point of order. It is a bit cute for the member for Nhulunbuy to complain about the level of somebody elses voice. M r MANZIE: We knew that the land councils would have trouble dealing with the backlog of applications. So, rather than release them all at once, we started to do so in a very controlled maimer. But the NLC has not even attempted to deal with the applications. They think it is a joke. This is pretty sad. They think it is a joke. They think that Territorians and Australians should have to suffer. They dont want to hear. I will have to speak a bit louder because of the continual inteijections of the Labor members 1252
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