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Proposals for establishment of 100 man Aboriginal Field Force



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GB/1 7

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs

Parliament House,

, · Canberra.

PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTER FOR ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS, THE HON

GORDON BRYANT, M.P.

The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Mr. Gordon

Bryant, said today he would be putting forward proposals for

the establishment of a 100-man Aboriginal Field Force which

would report to him on Aboriginal problems throughout

Australia. ■

With a force of 100 there would be one officer for

about every 1,000 Aborigines.

"Wherever v there are Aborigines there will be Field

Officers", he said.

He hoped the Force would be established by August.

Mr. Bryant is on a tour of Aboriginal communities

in Western Australia.

This and his previous tour to Queensland and the

Northern Territory had highlighted the need for such a Force.

Mr. Bryant said that the general community services

for Aboriginal areas lie had visited were seriously deficient ■ ­

"Their material situation in one of the wealthiest

countries in the world is a grave reflection on the

Australian community" , he said..

The most pressing need for Aborigines was a system

of consultation and decision making in which they took part.

He believed that as well as the National Aboriginal

Consultative Committee and the Field Force there would have to

be a larger number of Aborigines in the career structure of th

Department of Aboriginal Affai^rs^ !

. He hoped that before/there would be Aborigines in key

positions in the Department. ;

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He envisaged it would be a basically Aboriginal

Department in 10 years time.. '

Mr. Bryant said that in some of the communities he

had seen there was a problem of young Aboriginal women in

their teens who were already the mothers of several children.

He felt -there was a need *to accelerate the acceptance

of family planning by all Australians. *

Effective planning would be a significant factor in

improving the quality of life for Aboriginal Australians.

"Few people can effectively sustain a family of

ten", he said. . ( -

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Issued at Port Hedland and Canberra 1.2.1973

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