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Wednesday, 9 March 1966


Mr BARNES (MCPHERSON, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for Territories) - This decision of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission was given only a few days ago. I have not had an opportunity to consider the whole judgment, but I point out to the honorable member that at all times the wellbeing of the Aborigines is of great concern to the Department of Territories.

I believe that the delay which has been advised in the judgment of the Commission gives us a great opportunity, in a sense, to arrange for the transition of the Aboriginal employees of cattle stations, and to bring them up to the stage where we will have an organisation which will provide for their satisfactory assimilation into this system. Obviously a drastic change from their present standard to a much higher standard would cause considerable reaction.


Mr Beazley - I know that, but I am talking about their dependants.


Mr BARNES - This has to be considered along with the whole question. We will have to make a study of this matter. It is obvious that all Aborigines will not be employed on cattle stations. We may have to prepare our settlements to accept greater numbers to meet the needs of those who will not be adequately cared for. I can assure the honorable member that this matter is of great concern to the Administration. I have nothing further to add.







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