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Libya to sponsor a base for Australian Aborigines in its borders

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September 8 t h , 1988


"The Hawke Government has fostered rather than hindered

contact with Libya which can only damage Australia's

standing overseas and relations between Aborigines and other

Auetralians," Mr. Chris Miles, m .h .r . said t o d a y .

Mr. Miles, Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affaire was

commenting on Aboriginal activists' plan to set up a base in

L i b y a .

Ms. Darlene M a n s e l l , a cousin of Michael Mansell, on

return to Tasmania after an eleven day visit to Libya

announced that Libya would sponsor a base for Australian

Aborigines in its b o r d e r s .

"Ms. Mansell should indicate whether these arrangements are

part of a reciprocal deal enabling a Libyan Information

Bureau to be established on Aboriginal inalienable land in

A u s t r a l i a ," Mr Miles said.

"The Libyan connection in Aboriginal Affairs is out of

control - and the Pederal Government continues to give it

tacit s u p p o r t . It also underscores the massive policy

failure in Aboriginal Affairs under this M i n i s t e r ."

Mr. Miles said the Government recently r e f u s e d , in the

debate on a parliamentary resolution, to deny that

Aborigines were entitled to self-determination as a n a t i o n .

"The Minister must come clean and reject the Libyan

initiative. Otherwise one can only assume that he accepts


the establishment of the Bureau as a legitimate act of

self-determination and that his left-wing views had

Government support.

"The Government must publicly make a clear and unequivocal

statement of what self-determination means under a Labor

G o vernment," he s a i d .

"Par from distancing the Government and the Aboriginal

people from Mansell and the Tasmanian Aboriginal C e n t r e , the

Minister, Gerry H a n d , has given his tacit s u p p o r t . "

"Not once hae he criticised Mansell. The Minister has

visited the TAC on so-called peace missions . He restored

direct funding and has given additional funding for a new

TAC child-care centre."

Mr Miles said the Government should immediately cease

funding the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre because it does not

represent Tasmanian A b origines. In recent e l e c t i o n s , only

118 of about 4,000 Aborigines entitled to vote actually

v o t e d .

"The Coalition has made repeated requests for investigation

and a c t i o n . After this resounding vote of no-confidence in

the Centre the Federal Government must initiate

consultations with Tasmanians to establish who they want to

represent their interests," he said.

CONTACTi Stephen Wade (004) 31 1333