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Wednesday, 1 December 1976

Mr Les Johnson (HUGHES, NEW SOUTH WALES) -May I raise a very brief matter in connection with clause5? Clause 5 concerns the functions of land trusts. In clause 5 (1) (b) there is an alteration from what appeared in the previous Bill which was introduced by the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs (Mr Viner) on 4 June. One of the functions of a Land Trust set out in paragraph (b) is: to exercise its powers as owner of land ... for the benefit of Aboriginal groups ...

I would like to know why the word 'communities' has been deleted from this paragraph. Is group' in fact to imply 'community'? Is a group a community? Is a community a group? I looked at a dictionary a short time ago to find the definition of 'community'. I admit that the dictionary was not the most reputable dictionary available, but it is one that is in common use. The dictionary that I consulted defines 'community' as joint ownership; identity of character', which seems to be an appropriate term to use in respect of Aboriginal people. It also defines the word as meaning 'fellowship'. I do not want to frighten the honourable member for the Northern Territory (Mr Calder) but the word is also defined as meaning 'organised political, municipal or social body- a body of people living in the same locality'. There has been this change. Was it deliberate? Was there some real purpose in substituting the word 'groups' for 'communities'?

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