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Wednesday, 24 October 1984
Page: 2427

(Question No. 1229)

Senator Watson asked the Minister representing the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, upon notice, on 19 October 1984:

Is the reference to self-determination contained in the Department of Aboriginal Affairs 1984 annual report, which on page 2 mentions the Government's policy of self-determination for Aboriginal people, but fails to provide any working definition of this policy, a purely cosmetic effort to convince the Aboriginal people that justice is being done, when in actual fact the implementation of genuine self determination would be untenable to the conservative forces in Australian society and, in particular, to the vested interests which a self-determination policy would necessarily compromise, if not abrogate.

Senator Ryan —The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The Government accepts that the principle of self-determination is fundamental to the development of programs and policies in Aboriginal Affairs. The means by which this principle operates are determined from time to time in consultation with Aboriginal people themselves.