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Aboriginal affairs council meeting, Brisbane 20 October 1978



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MINISTER FOR ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS The Hon. Ian Viner ...............

ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS' COUNCIL MEETING

The need to give emphasis to special programs urgently to overcome problems of Aboriginal housing and employment were high­ lighted at a meeting of Australian Ministers concerned with Aborigine Affairs held in Brisbane today. .

Ministers attending the Aboriginal Affairs Council meeting were the Commonwealth Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Mr Ian Viner, New South Wales Minister for Youth and Community Services, Mr R. Jackson, Victorian Minister for Rousing, Mr G, Hayes, South Australia Minister for Community Welfare, Mr R. Fayne, Western Australian Minister for Health and Community VJelfare, Mr R. Young and the Northe

Territory Chief Minister and Attorney-General, Mr P. Everingham.

The Meeting was chaired by the Queensland Minister for Aboriginal and Island Affairs, Mr Charles Porter,

The Ministers gave unanimous support to a resolution which acknowledged the 9.1% increase in Aboriginal funding this year but urged the Commonwealth Government to provide more adequate finance fo: Aboriginal aid programs, including the need for finance for special

housing and welfare programs currently being developed on a national and State basis. .

They recommended that consideration be given to increased channelling of finance through State and Territory Governments, subje to consultation with Aboriginals.

In particular, the Ministers agreed on the continued need for financial and practical support for Aboriginal employment and training schemes in view of the acknowledged high incidence of unem­ ployment among Aboriginals in some areas.

The Ministers noted the concern of the South Australian and New South Wales Ministers on the desirability for some guarantee of continued funding of both positions and programs in the States to avoid the on/off nature of some programs that has been experienced in

recent years.

The Federal Minister, Mr Viner, while explaining the finane ial and budgetry restraints which bound him, undertook to incorporate in his budgetry requirements the perceived needs of the States and th Northern Territory in this regard.

Discussions with t h e ,States and Territory would be held as soon as practicable on this aspect of future planning as part of his Department's normal budgetting process.

The Ministers supported the need for continued and improved consultation between the Commonwealth and State Governments on Aborig inal affairs policies and the importance of co-operation and commun- x .ications between the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments

in this regard.

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Other subjects- discussed at the meeting included Aboriginal/police relations and a progress report on the reference to the Law Reform Commission on Aboriginal customary law1.

The.Ministers agreed to meet twice a year in future. The next meeting of the Aboriginal Affairs Council will be held in South Australia.

CANBERRA, A.C.T. 20 October, 1978.

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