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Future of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs

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Senator the Hon. E M. Chaney

FUTURE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS (Statement by the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs . , Senator Fred Chaney)

Totally untrue, claims about the future of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs under a Liberal/Country Party Government have been made in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

The allegation is that if the Fraser Government is re-elected the Department will be abolished.

This is an absolute lie and whoever is starting the rumour is obviously doing so in a quite disgraceful attempt to frighten Aboriginal voters at the coming election.

I heard yesterday that the two Aboriginal leaders, Mr Daryl Kickett and Mr Jimmy Bieundurry, had told people at Mowanjum, near Derby, that my Department would be done away with if the Government was returned to office.

I immediately contacted the Mowanjum Community Chairman Mr Paddy Morlumbun, who confirmed that such a statement had been , made by both men. Later I spoke to Mr Bieundurry who told me that Mr Kickett had made the claim. Unfortunately I have been

unable to contact Mr Kickett. „

I have assured the Mowanjum (immunity and Mr Bieundurry that there is no substance in the allegation and I have asked Mr Bieundurry to advise anyone he hears making the statement that it is not true.

This is the second time in a month that I have had this rumour reported to me. I can only assume that it has been started as part of a cynical, politically motivated campaign aimed at . misleading Australia's Aboriginal electors.



2 October 1980