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Friday, 22 March 1985
Page: 687

Senator COONEY(4.01) —This is not the time or the place to debate the issue of land rights and all the other problems which are real and tragic problems to do with the Aboriginal population of this country, but I would like to make a couple of remarks. One of the arguments against perhaps giving as much to the Aboriginals as they deserve is that they are simply part of the Australian population. That is true, but they are part of an Australian population which has a very different history, depending upon the origins of the people who make it up. Unfortunately the history of the Aboriginals has been tragic since the arrival of the Europeans in 1788. It is in that context that any debate that takes place about Aboriginal rights and what should or should not be done for Aboriginals should be remembered. They are a disadvantaged group in terms of a culture which they have and which has been much affected and much violated by a culture that has been introduced. I simply did not want this paper to go by without at least making some remarks about the matter.

Question resolved in the affirmative.