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Thursday, 27 November 1986
Page: 2880


Senator VANSTONE —I refer the Minister representing the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs to the $725,000 Federal contribution to the establishment of a yabby farm at the Gerard Reserve in the Riverland and the recent Aboriginal Development Commission study which concluded that a further $612,000 would be needed to repair deterioration and get the project operational. I further refer the Minister to the Reserve Chairman's statement that the Council had never wanted the 16 pond project and would have preferred something that the people could manage as a community. I ask the Minister: What account, if any, was taken of the Reserve Council's wishes prior to this project being undertaken? Who engaged and drew up the brief given to the consultants Trojan and Owen, and what was their fee? As the Reserve did not have control of the funds, who did have ultimate responsibility, the community employment program secretariat or the Aboriginal Development Commission? Lastly, does this fiasco represent another example of this Government and its bureaucracy trying to tell Aboriginal communities what is good for them, irrespective of their wishes?


Senator RYAN —I think I can safely say no to the last part of Senator Vanstone's question, but as the rest of her question was detailed and specific and I have no information on it with me, I suggest that she put the question on notice.