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Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 August 1990)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 August 1990)


Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Thursday 16 August 1990 rai sed in the course of the debate. I wi 11 start from the most recent comments and work back to those of the member for Wanguri. There is no doubt that the land claim area within the park is a source of particular aggravation to all of us because of the way devices were used. The vi ew of honourable members oppos i te seems to be that it served the government right for not being quick enough on its feet in registering the title and so leaving a window of opportunity open for 28 or 30 days which allowed the lawyers who shuffle through land claims to take advantage of that gap to whack in a claim. Mr Ede: How long was the window open for? Mr HATTON: Between 28 and 30 days. Mr Speaker, what a state the Northern Territory has reached! Clearly, the government was proceeding to purchase land for the purpose of a national park. There was no quest i on about that. The process of negot i at i ng and purchasing is administratively slow within a government department. During a gap of a coup 1 e of weeks after the payment of $60 000 for some 1 and to form part of a national park, that land was locked up in a land claim process. Nobody can tell me that that is a reasonable approach for a land council to adopt. It is a general policy by the Conservation Commission across the Territory to develop local management committees and joint management arrangements in respect of our parks and, specifically, to provide the opportunity for joint management by traditional owners of land, whether or not it was formerly Aboriginal land. It is a means of joint management so that they can exercise their traditional responsibilities and rights in respect of that land whilst, at the same time, we can carry out the necessary works for the protection of the conservation and recreational values of the area. That has been working very successfully. Given that very pos it i ve approach by the Conservation Commi,ss i on and the Northern Territory government, to receive this type 'of back-handed treatment really tests your patience and your will to keep striving for a cooperative approach on such matters. It is a point of some frustration. I was Minister for Lands and Conservation at the time when that incident occurred and, for that reason, I feel that particularly keenly. In respect of the other Keep River properties, I can advise the member for Arnhem that I be 1 i eve I know the s i tuat i on to wh i ch he is referri ng Our major access problem is that the road going into those living areas is through Kununurra. It comes through Western Austral i a and we are havi ng exceptional difficulty in persuading his Labor government mates in Western Australia to give any assistance' in respect of the road on the Western Austral ia side of the border. We are negotiating with the Aboriginal community organisations in the Kununurra area and seeking to resolve this matter and to put pressure on the Western Austral i an government to meet its responsibilities on its side of the border. Perhaps the member for Arnhem could assist us by talkin~ to his colleagues in Western Australia. I do not need to speak about what the Leader of the Opposition said because he said nothing about Gregory National Park. I do not think a discuss i on about Kakadu and its weed prob 1 em is appropri ate in th i s debate. It indicates how little he understands or knows or cares about conservation developments in the Northern Territory. 9921