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Tuesday, 11 September 1973
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The following answers to questions upon notice were circulated:

Aboriginal Consultative Council (Question No. 69)

Mr Bryant (WILLS, VICTORIA) (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Invitations were sent to Aboriginals whoI judged, on the basis of my own knowledge and the advice of my Department and Aboriginal organisations, would make a worthwhile contribution and would provide a reasonable representation of the range of communities in which Aboriginals live throughout Australia. In all, 78 delegates attended.

(2)   A Steering Committee, elected from the National Aboriginal Consultative Council at its first meeting, studied methods of arranging for the election of a fully representative National Aboriginal Consultative Council, and its recommendations were considered by a second meeting of the Council on 3-4 May. A series of regional consultations has since been held to discuss proposed arrangements for elections with Aboriginals throughout Australia. Planning is proceeding for elections later in the year.

(3)   and (4) The Council for Aboriginal Affairs provided me with a good deal of formal and informal advice in relation to the establishment of consultative processes, but the establishment of the body was on my own initiative.

(5)   and (6) As indicated above, invitations were sent to individuals, not to organisations. Amongst those invited were the Chairman '(Mr J.McGinness) and the then Secretary (Mrs F. Bandler) of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. A considerable number of those invited to the National Aboriginal Consultative Council have attended one or more of the annual conferences of F.C.A.A.T.S.I. since its establishment.

(7)   Yes, I have been a member since the organisation was founded in 1957.

(8)   Future meetings will, for the time being, be arranged by the National Aboriginal Consultative Council in consultation with myself and my Department.

(9)   The members of the National Aboriginal Consultative Council will, as at their first two meetings, determine whether and when sessions will be open to open in 1976/77.

(10)   I will take a very close interest in the deliberations and recommendations of the Council and will attend its meetings whenever this is appropriate and in accordance with the Council's wishes.

Australian Capital Territory: Belconnen

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