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Minister to visit Flinders Island

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. . , . · - The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Mr Ian Viner, ω ϋ ΐ . visit Flinders Island, Tasmania, tomorrow (Friday) to discuss proposals . . . . with the Aboriginal community on the establishment of a fish processing . ,

The Minister said today that the proposal had been under consideration for some time. He would be making an on the spot assessment of the social and employment advantages that would accrue · . to the community if the project were to go ahead.

■ - , Mr Viner said he was aware of the interest of the Tasmanian

Government and commercial fishing interests in a joint funding venture with the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.

He added that in the field of Aboriginal affairs generally 1 the social advantages of keeping communities together through provision of employment opportunities was a vital aspect to consider in any assessment of proposed commercial projects. This was particularly so in

remote communities, such as Flinders Island, which felt themselves cut-off . · _ from_J;he employment opportunities available in large centres of population, · - ygPy often the survival of a community as such"depended on its members being ■ able to stay together through a locally based industry.

— . . The Minister said he would be taking all these matters into

consideration when assessing the situation on the Island.

Mr Viner said he understood that his visit would be the first any Minister for Aboriginal Affairs had made to Flinders Island. He was looking forward to meeting the Aboriginal community as well as local . government officials. He would also be looking at various local projects

associated with the Aboriginal community, including the activities of their housing association. .

. __ Senator Peter Rae would accompany him on his visit, Mr Viner . said. The Member for Bass, Mr Kevin Newman was unfortunately not able to be there at the same time but he had arranged to be represented at the meetings scheduled during his visit.