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Minister visits Queensland Aboriginals



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MINISTER VISITS QUEENSLAND ABORIGINALS -

(Statement by the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Senator J.L. Cavanagh)

. The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Senator J.L. Cavanagh, left Canberra -this morning for a two-day visit to Queensland Aboriginal , -. communities. . . . . . .

The Minister’s tour will cover Cunnamulla, Hughenden, Dajarra, Normanton and Vfeipa. . ' . .

The Secretary of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, Mr Barrie Dexter, will accompany the Minister. , . ■ .

' , At Weipa, Senator Cavanagh will have a meeting with 100 Old Mapoon residents, some of whom recently returned to the site of the former Pres­ byterian Mission abandoned in 1963, when bauxite mining began in the area.

■ . Altogether forty residents, including 10 children have returned to - their former home and hope to establish an economic base in fishing and . cattle for what they believe will be a growing community. .

’ The Australian Government has said it will support any initiative they may -take in re-establishing themselves as an independent community and will help in whatever ways it" can to help them set up viable enterprises to support themselves. -

. This is the first visit to Queensland since the Minister announced " on October 20 that the Australian Government would grant Queensland . Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders land rights, with or without the - consent of the Queensland State Government, and would go ahead with its

legislation to override the discriminatory sections of the Queensland " . Aborigines' and Torres Strait Islanders' Acts..

CANBERRA". A.C.T. ■ . " '

30 October 1974

.NOTE TO EDITORS: The Minister will hold a press conference at Brisbane Airport, VIP LOUNGE at 5«45pm EST tomorrow (Thursday) at the end of his" tour. His flight, by RAAF HSV748 from Townsville, is due to touch down at 5.35pm.,