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Future Rumbalara

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

The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Senator Cavanagh, and the Victorian

Minister for Housing, Hr Dickie, met in Melbourne today to discuss the future of the

Rumbaiara property near Mooroopna in Victoria.

T .e, Ministers discussed the possibility of the Goulburn - Murray ’ Valley

Aboriginal Co-Operative acquiring the property from the Victorian Housing Commission.

They said the Aboriginal people of the Goulburn Valley had, over many

years displayed an interest in obtaining ownership of the property and redeveloping it.

Senator Cavanagh said that in conjunction with the Victorian Legal Service

which had acted for the Goulburn - Murray Valley Aboriginal Co-Operative, he had-

engaged a firm of urban planners to investigate and report on the Rurabulara redevelop­

ment program. This had been submitted tov-.Mr Dickie.

Senator Cavanagh said that at a conference last year between Mr Dickie

and himself it had been understood that subject to the Aboriginal community proposing

a worthwhile plan of use and development, the then Victorian Ministry of Aboriginal

Affairs would consider making the area available to the Community. '

The Minister said that when the Aboriginal Affairs Transfer of Functions

Bill had been before the Victorian Parliament he had written to Mr Dickie complaining

that under the legislation the area was to come under the control of the Housing

Commission. Mr Dickie had replied that this provision did not prevent the transfer

if so decided. .

It was agreed by the Ministers at today’s meeting that Senator Cavanagh

■would draw up tiomplete proposals for the transfer of property to the Coulburn - Hurray

Valley Aboriginal Co-Operative and Mr Die ie would make a submission to the Victorian

cabinet on the proposals. '