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Friday, 28 November 1986
Page: 4066

(Question No. 4714)


Mr Tickner asked the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, upon notice, on 7 October 1986:

What action has been taken to acquire lands at Archer River on Cape York Peninsula subsequent to the decision of the High Court in Koowarta v Bjelke-Petersen.


Mr Holding —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The High Court Case of Koowarta v Bjelke-Petersen arose from a proposal by the Aboriginal Land Fund Commission to purchase the Archer River Pastoral Lease for the Winychanham group resident at Aurukun and elsewhere in Queensland. The purchase required consent under the Lands Act (Qld), which was not forthcoming. The High Court held that section 9 of the Racial Discrimination Act 1979 (Cth) was within Commonwealth Constitutional power, and referred to the Queensland Supreme Court the issue of whether the decision of the Queensland Government to refuse to consent to the purchase was invalid as contrary to section 9 of the Commonwealth Act

The Queensland Government then declared the Archer River Pastoral Lease land to be a National Park and action in the Supreme Court therefore did not proceed.

The Aboriginal Development Commission has not received any further request from the Winychanham group to purchase land on its behalf.