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Wednesday, 12 December 1973
Page: 2722

Senator CAVANAGH (South AustraliaMinister for Aboriginal Affairs) - Three questions have been raised. Senator Hannan inquired whether the local people had been consulted in relation to the Albury-Wodonga development and Senator Jessop repeated the inquiry, so it must be an established fact that this consultation did not take place.

Senator Jessop - I gathered that.

Senator CAVANAGH -Perhaps the honourable senator should wait for the reply, because such consultation has taken place and it is continuing to take place. The question was also raised as to whether there was consultation prior to the conference on 25 January. Discussions were held with all local industries in both Albury and Wodonga and they supported the proposal. There is continual consultation, through the Interim Consultative Committee, with the local authorities.

Senator Hannan - Do you mean the local council?

Senator CAVANAGH -Among the other authorities, the local council is being consulted. Business interests and others in the area also have been consulted. Therefore continual consultation is going on in the area. It was suggested that the proposal does not have the support of those responsible elected sections of the area.

Senator Webster - I doubt whether that is correct. Do you mean local councils?

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN -(Senator Lawrie)-Order! The Minister is replying to the points raised.

Senator CAVANAGH -At the present time continual consultation is taking place, with the approval of those being consulted. The other matter raised concerned clause 8 of the AlburyWodonga Development BUI. As this is Australian Government legislation, clause 8 gives the Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation every power which the Constitution allows the Australian Government to confer. The many other aspects which go to make up a city, such as the provision of education and religious worship, will be covered by State legislation. Those things cannot be covered in this Act. Of course, one area over which the Commonwealth has a special responsibility is that of migrants who come to Australia. Because we have power in that regard, we have included this in the Bill as one of the functions of the Corporation. Before the end of the last session of this Parliament I tabled in the Senate on behalf of the Minister for Urban and Regional Development (Mr Uren) a document which set out the distribution of population in Australia. The document showed that in the 4- year period between censuses some 6 or 7 per cent of those who lived in the capital cities had moved to country areas. Of the new arrivals in Australia, 60 per cent or 70 per cent went to the cities. If we placed some emphasis on trying to get migrants away from the city areas, it would help the situation. But the main reason why the Corporation is given power over migrants is that the Commonwealth has power to confer on the Corporation in this area but it does not have power in other areas.

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