Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 13 November 1973
Page: 1709

Senator BONNER (QUEENSLAND) - Is the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs aware of Press reports that 3 Aborigines are protesting at the bombing of Quail Island, which they claim is sacred? Will he inform the Senate what steps he intends to take to assist the Aborigines to preserve the right of their Aboriginal tribe which is making a claim regarding the sacredness of this island?

Senator CAVANAGH - This island has been used as a bombing target for some IS years. Agreement was reached between the then Department of the Interior and the Department of Air for this bombing to take place. A protest was raised this year by Aborigines who wanted the island. Senator Bishop, as Acting Minister for Defence, wrote and suggested that if another target area could be found there was no desire to use this particular island. No one has come up with a solution to this problem. It is not an easy matter. There could be a number of unexploded bombs on the island which would create a danger to anyone visiting it at the present time. It is very unsafe for anyone to venture on to it. A group of Aborigines have gone there to squat and to see that no bombing takes place. I assure the honourable senator that no bombing will take place while they are there but their lives are in danger. My Department and the Department of the Northern Territory is trying to resolve this matter.

Suggest corrections