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Thursday, 26 March 1987
Page: 1385


Senator MACKLIN —I address my question to the Leader of the Government in the Senate and refer to clashes between Aborigines and police which occurred on 27 September last year when Aborigines were attending an end of season football dance at the RSL hall at Rosalie. I raised the matter in an adjournment debate on 7 October last year, seeking an assurance from the Government that it would have an inquiry into the matter. The Leader of the Government in the Senate assured me that he would refer the matter to the appropriate Minister very quickly. What has been the result of that action? Has the Government decided to have an inquiry and, if so, will the Minister advise when such an inquiry will begin?


Senator BUTTON —I apologise to Senator Macklin for not having an entirely satisfactory answer on this matter. It was referred to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Mr Holding, for consideration. I have now been advised that the Minister has received evidence compiled by the Aboriginal Legal Service and current consideration is being given to whether there is sufficient justification on the basis of that material for a Federal inquiry. Senator Macklin is aware that the call for a public inquiry was rejected by the Queensland Government and since then the Aboriginal Legal Service has taken statements from witnesses to this incident but no final decision has yet been made on the basis of that material.