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Friday, 22 May 1970

Mr WENTWORTH (MACKELLAR, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Social Services) - The answer to the honourable member's question is yes. As early as 19th November last I was in touch with the Queensland Minister for Conservation, Marine and Aboriginal Affairs and he replied to me by letter on 27th November. At the beginning of February Mr Killoran, the Queensland Director of Aboriginal and Island Affairs, advised my office that his Minster had asked the Queensland Department of Mines to make a complete evaluation of the minerals on the island. He said that should the investigation by the Department of Mines prove that worthwhile mineral deposits exist on the island the Queensland authorities may approach my office for financial assistance to exploit them.

Mr Uren - Why do you not make a statement after question time? We will give you leave.

Mr WENTWORTH - If the honourable member would prefer that, 1 will do it.

Mr Barnard - I take a point of order. We will not give the Minister for Social Services leave to make a statement. The Minister and the Leader of the House are well aware of the arrangement to be made. If the Minister is to make a statement the statement has to be in the hands of the Opposition at least 2 hours before the House meets. In the circumstances we would refuse the Minister leave to make a statement.

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