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Thursday, 24 February 1977

Mr E G Whitlam (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -My question is directed to the Prime Minister or to the Minister representing the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. I am putting this question today because I do not want to have to wait another fortnight to pursue a matter which the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs told me early in December was causing him particular concern. My question relates to the purchase of the Archer River property near Aurukun for the Aboriginal Land Fund Commission. On that occasion the Minister told me that he had written to the Queensland Minister for Lands inquiring why he had refused to consent to the transfer of title. The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs assured me that he would be following this matter up because he regarded it as of considerable importance, not only to the operations of the Commission but also to the Aborigines on whose behalf the property was to be purchased. I now ask: At what level and with what result has the issue since been pursued, not only with respect to the Archer River but also with respect to properties near Cardwell and elsewhere? What funds does the Aboriginal Land Fund Commission still have available for the purchase of freehold and leasehold properties?

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