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Holding should stay at home



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P A R L I A M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A

H O U S E O F R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S

ROGER S H IP T O N . M.P. MEMBER FOR HIGGINS SHADOW MINISTER FOR ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS

31 BEATTY AVENUE ARMADALE, VIC. AUSTRALIA 3143 TEL. (03) 20 4422

PRESS RELEASE

HOLDING SHOULD STAY AT HOME

"Mr Holding is abandoning his Portfolio at a time when the state of Aboriginal Affairs is in an unmitigated mess", Mr Shipton, Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, said today.

He was commenting on Mr Holding's imminent departure with a number of officials, including his Department Head, to apparently visit uranium mines and Indian reservations in the United States and Canada. Mr Holding will be absent for three weeks. "He would do better to visit Australian uranium mines to determine how they can operate

to their full potential.

"Mr Holding is allowing important issues to fester unĀ­ resolved whilst he goes on a jaunt with his officials with little, if any, current relevance to his Department."

"Mr Holding's duty and responsibility lie at home. He should be working to solve the pressing problems facing Aboriginals in the areas of health, housing, education, power and water supply. Mr Holding should also be working to diffuse the immense tension and national

anxiety that has arisen from his indecision on the Land Rights issue.

It is clear the Government does not know how to tackle the Land Rights issue. The rejection of the Western Australian Bill was predicted weeks before the Assembly's vote on 17 April. Yet, in replying to a question in the

Senate on the same day, Mr Holding's representative,

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Senator Ryan, said she was unable to say whether the Government would be introducing National Land Rights Legislation or provide an estimate of when the Bill would be tabled. Senator Ryan said Mr Holding would

be making public the Government's position once it had been determined. Although Mr Holding is still talking of the need for Uniform Legislation, no definitive statement has been issued yet."

"Mr Holding must announce his intentions and start showing some responsibility and leadership," Mr Shipton said. "He should abandon his trip, stay at home and deal with the enormous problems he faces in his Portfolio To travel overseas at this time and to miss two Parliamentary Sitting weeks is totally irresponsible as well as a waste of money and time."

Canberra

Friday, 19 April 1985

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