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Navy helicopter to collect Aboriginal election votes



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IIV 77/ 7c

NAVY HELICOPTER TO COLLECT ABORIGINAL ELECTION VOTES

A Rpyal Australian Navy helicopter will be used on Tuesday to collect votes for the National Aboriginal Conference from a remote island off the north— west coast of Western Australia. The Kiowa helicopter, attached to the surv.^ . ship H.M.A.S. Moresby, will fly a representative of the Australian Electoral Office

from Koolan Island, 175 kilometres north of Derby, to Kure Bay, 125 kilometres away in the Camden Sound.

The Electoral Officer,Mr Eon Camp,will collect votes from an estimated 140 Torres Strait Islanders who are working at the culture-pearl centre at Kure Bay. .

Special arrangements to collect votes from isolateu and remote communities have been a key feature of the NAC election which will be held this Saturday, 12 November in all states except Queensland. The Queensland poll will ba held one , week later. - Saturday,19 November-to avoid clashing with the Queensland State

Elections.

The only access to Kure Bay, other than by sea, is by haliccpter and the Navy survey ship has the only operational helicopter at present available in tha area.

Mr Camp has already flown over 10,000 miles in light aircraft arranging the National Aboriginal Conference election in the Derby area of Western Australia. His electoral area includes the rugged Kimberley region and the Ord River area.

. The Torres Strait Islander people came from the Thursday Island area to work at the pearling centre because of their particular experience in the pearling industry. Their skills and experience in diving are renowned. -

In a radio-telephone message from Mr Camp today, he said he would fly by light aircraft to Koolan Island to meet the Navy helicopter.

After collecting the votes from Kura Say, he would continue by light aircraft to other remote and isolated areas back on the mainland to collect other votes from Aboriginal people during the rest of this week.

For further information contact: Brian Martin 89-5209 (work) .

81-4605 (home)

CANBERRA ACT 7 NOVEMBER. 1977