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Government tabling of Hay report



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Leader of the Opposition

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PRESS STATEMENT NO.,

GOVERNMENT TABLING OF HAY REPORT

Statement by the Hon. E.G. Whitlam, Q.C., M.P.

The Prime Minister's allegations of waste and extravagance in expenditure on aboriginal welfare have been proved to be without foundation. .

The statement today by the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs failed to provide any justification for the Prime Minister's attempt to undermine public support for expenditure on aboriginal welfare. There were no examples of duplication or over utilization.

There were no new measures to monitor public expenditure in future.

. - The Hay Report, far from revealing numerous examples of waste and extravagance, referred particularly to the successes of Aboriginal Housing Associations and State Housing Commissions in the provision of housing for aboriginals. These are the same ,

Housing Associations that the Prime Minister castigated when he leaked a mischievous distortion of the Report to journalists on May 18 in his office. .

The committment made by the Attorney General when he was spokesman on Aboriginal Affairs has still not been fulfilled by this belated injection of funds. In December 1975, Mr Ellicott committed the Government to maintaining expenditure on aboriginal welfare at

existing levels. In fact, expenditure in 1976/7 by the Fraser Government will still fall $17 million short of the amount appropriated by Labor in 1975/76 - a reduction of 20% in real terms.

. It will take more than this gesture to restore the morale

and dignity of aboriginal communities, who have suffered unjustified hardship and frustration at the hands of the Fraser Government.

5 October 1976

P a rlia m e n t b lo u se. C a n b e rra . A.C/I.. 2000