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Tuesday, 14 May 1985
Page: 1874


Senator KILGARIFF —Is the Minister representing the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs aware of a full meeting of the Northern Land Council which took place on 9 May this year at which the NLC resolved that it would 'work with mine developer Denison Australia to achieve a change in Federal Government policy which prevents uranium exports, other than deposits from Ranger, Nabarlek and Roxby Downs'? In view of the fact that the traditional owners of Koongarra are to acquire 25 per cent equity in the Koongarra uranium project to be developed by Denison Australia, is the Government prepared to review its approach to the development of this mine rather than call for the return of Koongarra to Kakadu National Park? Finally, does the Minister acknowledge that the voluntary involvement of Aboriginal people in developments such as Koongarra is one of the few ways open to the Aboriginal people to achieve a level of self-sufficiency and self-respect which they do not enjoy as recipients of demeaning government handouts?


Senator RYAN —I have no information on the particular meeting referred to by Senator Kilgariff in his question. The matter which he raises about the possibility of a review of our Government's policy on Koongarra would not be one for me to answer, but I can assure Senator Kilgariff that to date I know of no intention by the Government to review that policy. Were such a review to be announced it would be the subject of a Government announcement made, I presume, by my colleague Senator Gareth Evans. But at this stage I am not aware of any intention by the Government to review that policy.