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Wednesday, 31 October 1956

Mr Makin n asked the Minister for Supply, upon notice -

1.   What area of land which was formerly the central aboriginal reserve has been taken over for the purposes of the rocket range?

2.   Have mining rights been granted in this area; if so, what number of licences have been granted?

3.   Will he make available a list of the persons or company of persons who are interested in mining operations in the area?

Mr Beale (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Supply) - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   No area of land involving the central aboriginal reserve has been taken over for the purposes of a rocket range. However, the southeastern portion of the central aboriginal reserve falls within an area proclaimed a prohibited area under the Defence (Special Undertakings) Act. Our operation of this prohibition controls only the entry of white people into the area and does not restrict the movement of aborigines. Before any tests are conducted at Maralinga which might involve the area in question, an extensive search is conducted to locate aborigines. Also, two native affairs officers of the Department of Supply are in constant supervision of the welfare of natives in both Woomera and Maralinga range areas. 2 and 3. Do not concern the Commonwealth and arc matters entirely within the jurisdiction of the State of South Australia.

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