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Wednesday, 20 May 1970

Mr WENTWORTH (MACKELLAR, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Social Services) - As I understand it - I have been in touch with the Queensland Government regarding this - Comalco has offered 40,000 shares for the benefit of Aboriginals and it is also offering a number of shares, I think 1 50, to each employee, including Aboriginal employees. I am not quite certain of the details, but T believe that that is the nature of the proposal. The shares taken up by the Queensland Government will, I think, be held for the benefit of Aboriginals in Queensland but their disposition will, of course, be a matter for the Queensland Government and not for this Government.

I am glad to tell the House that I was able to get Comalco to set aside a further 10.000 shares for the specific benefit of the Aboriginals in the Weipa area exclusively. These shares are to be taken up today by the capital fund in the Office of Aboriginal Affairs and they will be held in trust pending the establishment of some legal cooperative, to which they will be transferred, consisting of Aboriginals of the Weipa area itself. In this way the venture will not only be to. the advantage of Queensland Aboriginals as a whole but there will be a specific advantage for the Aboriginals of the Weipa area. As the House will know, quite a number of Aboriginals are living a little south of Weipa at Aurukun and I am hoping that, in co-operation with the Queensland Government, we will have a proposal for the capital development of that area which can itself provide a very good pastoral base for quite a major cattle industry.

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