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Wednesday, 29 April 1987
Page: 2170

Mr GORMAN —What is the attitude of the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs to Aboriginal groups which seek funds from international sources with known terrorist connections?

Mr HOLDING —I thank the honourable member for his question because it gives me an opportunity to inform the House and Aboriginal organisations generally of the Government's position. Its position is clear, it is unequivocal and it is simple. Any Aboriginal organisation which seeks overseas funding from a terrorist organisation or any Aboriginal organisation which is an affiliate of an organisation which makes such an application and is privy to the making of such an application will have all Commonwealth funding cease forthwith. Historically, the Department of Aboriginal Affairs has encouraged Aboriginal leadership to participate in conferences of indigenous people. A representative of the Indigenous Peoples Conference is an Aboriginal person based in Sydney. We believe that it is perfectly appropriate and legitimate for Aboriginal people to use international tribunals and conferences to voice their aspirations and hopes. But there is no way that some of the recent actions of a person from Tasmania acting on his own behalf will be--

Mr Goodluck —Name him.

Mr HOLDING —We all know that I am talking about Mr Mansell.

Mr Goodluck —What about the Young Labor Party? It supports him.

Mr HOLDING —The Young Labor Party is as entitled as the honourable member's Party is to have some wets and dries. The honourable member for Franklin would be better advised to concentrate on some of the internal divisions within his Party. The other point I want to make-it ought to be noted by the House and the media-is that at this stage no Aboriginal organisation has been prepared to support Mr Mansell in his utterances and he has been very substantially condemned by representative Aboriginal leaders from around Australia.