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Thursday, 15 November 1973

Senator YOUNG (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Is the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs aware that for the last few years some 90 Aborigines from Ernabella and Hermannsburg missions and Amata and Indulkana reserves have been going to the River Murray area in South Australia to work during the fruitpicking season and have been earning between $60 and $90 per week for 8 weeks or more? Is the Minister also aware that the South Australian Community Welfare Department received a grant of $ 1 5,000 each year from the Department of Aboriginal Affairs to supervise the welfare of the Aborigines during the fruit harvest? Is it a fact that this year the $ 1 5,000 grant was returned because the Community Welfare Department was not continuing its supervisory role? Is it also a fact that the Department of Labour was prepared to take over the role as long ago as last August, to make sure that the Aborigines were employed, but that it has had no reply from the Department of Aboriginal Affairs? As the Minister has recently taken over the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, will he straighten out this bungling by the Department which could affect the employment of some 90 Aborigines?

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