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Wednesday, 7 December 1927


Senator VERRAN (South Australia) . - I draw the attention of the Government to the statements that are contained in the following letter that I have received from a society in South Australia -

To safeguard the aborigines in this State the South Australian Government has taken the following measures: -

1.   All railway construction camps and surrounding country within a radius of 10 miles has been declared prohibited territory for all aborigines other than those employed in such camps.

2.   No aboriginal women are allowed to be employed in any capacity whatever in the construction camps.

3.   Extra police have been appointed to patrol the line. Also the officer in charge is a strong man capable of enforcing authority.

So far these measures have been efficient, and the native women have not been interfered with.

In order that the same protection may be given to aborigines in the Federal Territory, we ask that the following be done: -

1.   That the Federal Government through the administration of the Northern Territory and Central Australia, should . exercise the power given in section 11 of the principal ordinance of the Northern Territory (1918), to declare all construction camps and surrounding country within a radius of 10 miles thereof to be a prohibited area for all aborigines other than those employed in such camps. Also that the police be instructed rigidly toenforce this regulation, especially section 4, as added by the Amendment Ordinance-. 1923 and 1924.

2.   That those in control of the camps and employment in connexion therewith be instructed not to employ any aboriginal or half-caste woman. (We received an assurance from the Government that no women would be employed on any part of the line constructed departmentally. )

3.   That sections 45 and 53 of the above-mentioned ordinance be more rigidly enforced than hitherto.

4.   That extra police be employed to ensure the carrying into effect of these regulations, and that the officer in charge of such police be specially chosen for his strength of character and suitability for' the task. So much depends on the man in charge.

I trust that the Minister will recognize the wisdom of bringing the Commonwealth regulations into conformity with those of the State.







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