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Wednesday, 1 December 1976
Page: 3058


Mr WALLIS (Grey) -After listening to what the honourable member for the Northern Territory (Mr Calder) has just said, perhaps we can expect that when this matter goes to the vote he will oppose the Bill. It is quite obvious from his remarks to the present that he does not support the Bill in its entirety. What I wish to mention this evening is the question of roads. Throughout the schedule to the Bill and in the various descriptions given we find that roads are not included. In the Bill that was introduced last year by the Australian Labor Party but which, as a result of what happened on 11 November, never came before the Parliament for finalisation, roads were included in the definitions. In the definition of Aboriginal land, control of the roads concerned was given to the Aboriginal people. I query whether in considering this aspect Aboriginal people should be given control over these roads.

I suppose that in many areas people do not like to see roads put through their land. As it is their land, they wish to have some say in the use to which it is put. No protection is provided against an influx of people- tourists etcetera- on those roads. I am sure that everyone will admit that such an influx can have a bad effect in certain areas. Consider the property of the Prime Minister (Mr Malcolm Fraser) in Victoria. Would it be all right if a road were constructed through the Prime Minister's property and he were given no right whatsoever to restrict the access of people to that road? A similar question would arise in relation to roads being constructed through land held by graziers and others. Why are Aboriginals not to be given control over the roads which run through their lands? Why are roads to be taken out of the control which Aboriginals will exercise over the land through which those roads will run? This is a matter to which I feel consideration should be given. Does this mean that this land will be open to every Tom, Dick and Harry who wishes to gain access to it? I suggest to the Minister that this is a matter to which some consideration should be given. I support the amendments which have been moved by the honourable member for Hughes (Mr Les Johnson). I ask for leave to continue my remarks at a later stage.

Leave granted; progress reported.







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