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Libya to sponsor a base for Australian Aborigines in its borders



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MEDIA STATEMENT FROM CHRIS MILES. SHADOW MINISTER FOR

ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS,

September 8 t h , 1988

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY C. I. S.

"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

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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