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Minister opens Walgett sale yards



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EMBARGOED: 2 P.M. FRIDAY, 5 SEPTEMBER

MINISTER OPENS WALGETT SALE YARDS

(Statement by the M inister fo r A boriginal, Affaire>-jirJCiefl«Johneozi)-

The M in is te r f o r A b o rig in a l A f f a i r e , Mr Les J o h n so n $s a id in

W alg ett to d a y th e -c o n s tr u c tio n o f th e new .-<^±tle-JB alSuyards_ai._W algett was y e t a n o th e r exam ple o f th e many s u c c e s s f u l p r o j e c t s com pleted by~Jbo*>Aginals*..

Mr Jo h n so n was s p e a k in g a t th e o p en in g o f th e s a l e y a rd s d u rin g a

v i s i t to o b se rv e p ro g re s s o f v a r io u s A b o rig in a l p r o j e c t s in th e area»

The s a l e y a rd s a s a r e t a i l o u t l e t would s tim u la te employment ,

o p p o r tu n i tie s f o r A b o rig in a l stockm en on l o c a l s t a t i o n s . C o n s tru c tio n had -

been a j o i n t e f f o r t betw een h i s D epartm ent and th e W alg ett S h ire C o u n c il.

The C o u n cil f i r s t ap p roached th e D epartm ent o f A b o rig in a l A f f a ir e

\ in May 1974 w ith a p ro p o s a l t o employ A b o rig in a l la b o u r on th e $200,000

’ p r o j e c t . '

\ The p r o j e c t was s u p p o rte d by th e D epartm ent o f L abour and Im ig ra tio n -

and th e l o c a l A b o rig in a l com munity, on th e b a s i s t h a t i t would p ro v id e

employment and v a lu a b le t r a i n i n g i n s k i l l s such a s c o n c re tin g # w eld in g ,

f a b r i c a t i o n and p a i n t in g . A ls o , a num ber'of-m en-w ould-be - o f f e r e d .perm anent employment on th e C o u n c il’s w o rk fo rc e . :

I n A ugust 1974 a S p e c ia l Work P r o je c t s g r a n t o f $71,200 to employ

17 men f o r n in e months was a p p ro v e d . The g r a n t was u sed t o pay f o r wages

and s u p e r v is io n c o s t s . The b a la n c e o f - t h e cos.t~.of th e p r o j e c t was p ro v id e d

by t h e S h ire C o u n c il. ,

. Mr Johnson s a i d t h a t e d u c a tio n , h e a l th and h o u sin g p ro g ra m s , which

were a s s i s t e d by th e A u stra lia n .G o v e ra ro e n t a n d th e - S h ir e C o u n c il, were a l s o

m aking good p ro g re s s i n th e W alg ett a r e a .

I n March 1972 th e Save th e C h ild re n Fund p r e -s c h o o l was opened,

a p r o je c t w hich in v o lv e d th e S h ir e C o u n cil in th e p ro v is io n o f th e s i t e and

s u p e r v is io n o f c o n s tr u c t io n . The A u s t r a li a n Government p ro v id e d $60,000

f o r th e c o s t o f th e p r o j e c t and th e NSW State--G overnm ent _.ac ted . a s o o -

o r d i n a t o r , .

‘Funds w ere a l s o p ro v id e d .f o r a M aori f i e l d o f f i c e r to _ e sia h l± E h . n,

_ A b o rig in a l F am ily E d u c a tio n C e n tre a t G in g ie Gingie· R e s e rv e «

A

1

- 2-

Today th e Save th e C h ild re n Fund p re -s c h o o l had. an en ro lm en t o f 87 .

c h i l d r e n , employed two t r a i n e d te a c h e r s , f o u r A b o rig in a l te a c h e r aicj-ee and

s i x o th e r A b o rig in a l women in i t s o p e ra tio n *

The M in is te r s a id t h a t th e W alg ett P rim ary and S econdary S c h o o ls ,

which h ad an A b o rig in a l en ro lm en t o f ab o u t 40 p e r c e n t were in v o lv e d in

e x te n d e d e d u c a tio n a l p ro g ram s, in c lu d in g s o c i a l i s a t i o n v i s i t s and a g r i c u l t u r a l

t r a i n i n g .

T h is y e a r t h e r e a r e 12 A b o rig in a l c a n d id a te s f o r th e School

C e r t i f i c a t e * A b o rig in e,! g r a d u a te s o f th e h ig h sc h o o l had gone on to t e a c h e r s '

c o lle g e s and u n d e rta k e n o th e r t e r t i a r y s t u d i e s . Young p eo p le from W alg ett

had emerged a s le a d e r s in th e n a t io n a l A b o rig in a l movement.

Mr Joh n so n s a id t h a t n o t so lo n g ago W alg ett had o n ly one P u b lic

H e a lth S i s t e r . Today, u n d e r th e H e a lth Comm ission ¥b A b o rig in a l H e a lth

Program , w hich was funded by h i s D ep artm en t, th e r e t h r e e c The Commission

a l s o p ro v id e d r e g u l a r v i s i t s by a p a e d i a t r i c i a n , a d e rm a to lo g is t and an e a r

and nose, s p e c i a l i s t . The Commission and th e p rim ary s c h o o l were a l s o

d e v e lo p in g a sm all n u t r i t i o n p r o j e c t . ■

The A u s t r a li a n Government and t h e S h ire C ouncil had a l s o combined t o im prove h o u sin g accom m odation in W a lg e tt. The Government c o n trib u te d t h r e e ^ r u a r i e r s and th e S h ir e o n e - q u a r te r to w ard s th e p r o v is io n o f s u i t a b l e

h o u s in g . ;

Mr Johnson s a i d t h a t w h ile th e developm ent o f th e W alg ett

A b o rig in a l community was a model w hich co u ld be fo llo w e d by o th e r A b o rig in a l com m unities th ro u g h o u t A’O t r a i i a , t h e r e was s t i l l much t o be done, e s p e c i a l l y

in th e f i e l d o f b o d in g *

Canberra- a .C .T .

5 S eptem ber, 1975»