Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 30 April 1957

Mr Bryant t asked the Minister representing the Minister for National Development, upon notice -

1.   What mining companies are operating in territories reserved for aboriginals?

2.   What compensation do these companies pay for operating on tribal territory?

3.   Are any of these companies of nonAustralian origin?

4.   If so, what are the companies and who are their principals?

5.   What supervision is exercised over the activities of the companies' personnel in relation to aboriginals?

Mr Beale - In the following answers, the information in relation to the Northern Territory has been supplied by my colleague, the Minister for Territories: -

1.   The following companies are carrying out prospecting activities in aboriginal reserves in the States and Territory: -

Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited, in


South Western Mining Limited, in South

Australia and Western Australia.

Enterprise Exploration Company Proprietary

Limited, in Queensland and the Northern


Australian Mining and Smelting Company Limited, in the Northern Territory.

Rio Australian Exploration Proprietary Limited, in the Northern Territory.

The following company has been carrying out prospecting activities and is expected to commence beach sands mining in an aboriginal reserve in the Northern Territory: -

Dowsetts Engineering (Australia) Proprietary Limited, in the Northern Territory

2.   State government regulations do not require compensation to be paid by companies prospecting in aboriginal reserves. In the case of the Northern Territory, no compensation is payable, but holders of mining leases and dredging claims over land in aboriginal reserves are required to pay a royalty at the rate of 2J- per cent, on gross value of production. Amounts of royalties are required to be credited to the Aboriginals (Benefits From Mining) Trust Fund, out of which the Minister may approve payments to, or for the benefit of, aboriginals or aboriginal institutions. There has been no production of minerals to date from aboriginal reserves in the Northern Territory. The Enterprise Exploration Company, which is operating in the Cape York Peninsula, in Queensland, employs native labour under conditions prescribed by the Queensland Department of Native Affairs. Substantial donations have been made by the company to the missions supervising natives in the Cape York area. In addition, the company is paying for the use of space in the vicinity of the some of the missions.

3.   A company incorporated in an overseas country has a controlling interest in each of the operating companies listed under answer 1. above, except the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited.

4.   The companies concerned and the overseas controlling companies are as follows: -

South Western Mining Limited - International Nickel Company of Canada.

Enterprise Exploration Company Proprietary Limited - Consolidated Zinc Corporation Limited (United Kingdom).

Australian Mining and Smelting Company Limited - Consolidated Zinc Corporation Limited (United Kingdom).

Rio Australian Exploration Proprietary Limited - Rio Tinto Company Limited (United Kingdom).

Dowsetts Engineering (Australia) Proprietary Limited - Dowsetts Holdings Limited (United Kingdom).

5.   In Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, entry into aboriginal reserves is strictly controlled by the respective Departments of Native Affairs. Candidates for entry into such reserves are subject to medical examination and are committed to an agreement about matters affecting the welfare of the natives. In some cases, it is the practice of the Mines Department to* include covenants relating to native welfare when issuing the authorities to prospect. In the Northern Territory, before entering an aboriginal reserve, a permit from the Administrator is required for each person and personnel are briefed by Welfare Branch officers on the requirements of the Aboriginal Ordinance, their expected conduct in respect of the aboriginal population, the requirements and conditions of employment of aboriginals and their responsibilities to the superintendent of the nearest mission or native settlement. Personnel must produce a medical certificate that they are free from infectious disease before a permit to enter a reserve is granted. Personnel are required to restrict their contact with the aboriginal population to the absolute minimum, and where aboriginals continue to make unauthorized and unwarranted contact with personnel the matter is to be reported to the nearest mission or settlement superintendent. Personnel are advised that whilst in a reserve they are expeced to fulfil all reasonable requirements of a settlement or mission superintendent. They are also informed of the provisions of the Licensing Ordinance in respect of the supply of alcoholic liquor to aborigines. On leaving a reserve, the leader of the personnel is required to report to the Welfare Branch what contact has been made with aboriginals and to furnish any other details required regarding the area prospected.

Suggest corrections