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Wednesday, 17 April 1985
Page: 1136

Senator KILGARIFF —The Minister representing the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs will be aware that early this morning the Burke Government's Aboriginal land rights legislation was defeated in the West Australian Legislative Council. Bearing in mind, as the Minister told me yesterday, that the Commonwealth was awaiting the outcome of the parliamentary process in Western Australia, I ask: Does the Government now intend to introduce national uniform land rights legislation? If so, when will that legislation be presented to this Parliament? Will the Government agree to modify its preferred model which differed from the West Australian approach?

Senator RYAN —I do not really have anything to add at this stage to what I told Senator Kilgariff yesterday because, although there has now been a legislative outcome, as Senator Kilgariff has just informed the Senate, it was in the early hours of this morning and obviously our Government had not had time to consider this and to consider what steps we will take to ensure that the principles for land rights legislation which we have enumerated many times will be incorporated in legislation throughout Australia. The Government will be considering its position and, as soon as we have resolved a position, I am sure that Mr Holding will make it public.

Senator KILGARIFF —By way of supplementary question, I ask the Minister: If Mr Holding is going to make known his intentions, will the Minister herself report as soon as possible to this Senate what the Government's actions will be?

Senator RYAN —Of course I will do that as soon as possible. It is my responsibility to do that in this place on behalf of Mr Holding.