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Friday, 10 May 1985
Page: 1753


Senator DURACK —Does the Acting Minister for Aboriginal Affairs agree that the Commonwealth's so-called preferred model for national uniform Aboriginal land rights legislation is not preferred by the Aboriginal people, by the State governments or by the mining industry? In view of the unanimous rejection of the so-called preferred model of the Commonwealth, will the Government reconsider its position on national Aboriginal land rights?


Senator RYAN —At this stage of the discussions about achieving national objectives in land rights legislation the preferred model is preferred by our Government, but it is the subject of discussions and negotiations, mainly with Aboriginal organisations, but also with State governments and with other parties that have a legitimate interest. Senator Durack's question as to whether we will reconsider our position is really an irrelevant question because the whole matter is under constant consideration and discussion.


Senator DURACK —I ask a supplementary question. Can the Acting Minister tell us which Aboriginal groups are being consulted about it by the Government? The Minister did not answer my question as to whether it is a fact that the model has been rejected by Aboriginal groups.


Senator RYAN —I understand that all national Aboriginal organisations have been involved in discussions and continue to be involved in discussions-


Senator Chaney —Which ones? The health organisations?


Senator RYAN —All organisations that wish to be involved in the discussions are involved, including the National Aboriginal Conference.


Senator Chaney —Name them.


Senator RYAN —It would have been evident to anyone who is interested in Aboriginal organisations that a number of members of Aboriginal organisations, such as the NAC, the Aboriginal Land Council and the Federation of Land Councils, have been in and about the lobbies and committee rooms of Parliament House for weeks. Obviously there are ongoing consultations with all major Aboriginal organisations and those consultations will continue.