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Minister respo0nds to NT claims on minerals



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MINISTER FOR ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS Senator the Hon. E M. Chaney

MINISTER RESPONDS TO NT iCLAIM ON MINERALS

The M i n i s t e r f o r A b o r i g i n a l A f f a i r s , S e n a to r F r e d C h a n e y ,

s a i d i p C a n b e rra to d a y t h a t h e was s u r p r i s e d a t r e p o r t s i n t h e

p ress t h a t t h e Com monwealth w as m dyiiig t b r e s e r v e m i n e r a l r i g h t s

on A b o r i g i n a l l a n d f o r t h e Commonwfea11 h . He s a i d :

" I n my d i s c u s έ i o n s w i t h Mr E v e iitig h a m I s a i d t h a t t h e r e

was n o d i f f e r e n c e b e tw e e n o u r G o v ern m en ts on t h e m i n e r a l s q u e s t i o n .

I n a c c o rd a n c e w i t h t h e M b tth e rn T e r r i t o r y S e lf-G o v e rn m e n t 5

L e g i s a l t i o n m i n e r a l s oh A b p f ig in A i la iid b e l o n g s t o t h e N o r th e r n

T e r r i to r y L The, o n ly e x c e p t i $ n t o t h i s i s u ra n iu m a n d t h e o t h e r

p r e s c r i b e d r a d i b a c t i x / i f o & te r ia is s u c h a s u ra n iu m w h ic h i t h a s a lw a y s

b e e n a g r e e d re m a in w i t h t h e Com m onw ealth. T h a t i s e x p r e s s l y ,

p r o v id e d f o r i n t h e N o r th e r n T e r r i t o r y S e lf-G o v e rn m e n t l e g i s l a t i o n .

' "When I m et w i t h t h e E x e c u ti v e s o f t h e t h r e e L and C o u n c ils

l a s t w eek I m ade t h a t p o s i t i o n c l e a r t o them a l s o . A t t h a t m e e tin g

ί s a i d t h a t i f t h e r e was a n y t e c h n i c a l d e f i c i e n c y i n t h e l a n d t i t l e s

i n t h e i r r e f e r e n c e t o m i n e r a l s . i t w o u ld b e c o r r e c t e d .

" I n t h e s e c i r c u m s t a n c e s , I am v e r y s u r p r i s e d t h a t t h e C h ie f

M i n i s t e r s h o u ld h a v e m ade t h e re m a rk s w h ic h a p p e a r i n t h e p r e s s .

U n f o r t u n a t e l y , I h a v e n o t b e e n a b l e t o a p e a k t o him t o c o n firm

t h a t h e d i d m ake t h e re m a rk s b u t I u n d e r s t a n d t h a t h e i s s u e d t h e

p r e s s r e l e a s e c o n t a i n i n g t h e s u b s ta n c e o f t h e r e p o r t .

" S in c e b eco m in g M i n i s t e r I h a v e e n d e a v o u re d t o c o - o p e r a t e

w i t h t h e N o r th e r n T e r r i t o r y G overnm ent a n d I i n t e n d t o do so i n

t h e f u t u r e . I h o p e t h a t t h e N o r th e r n T e r r i t o r y G overnm ent w i l l

r e c i p r o c a t e a n d t h a t i f i t d o e s h a v e .c o n c e r n s , t h a t i t .c o m m u n ica te s

w i t h me a n d c l e a r s th e n u p , a s c o u ld h a v e b e e n done i n t h i s c a s e .

As i t i s p u b l i c c o n c e rn h a s p r o b a b ly b e e n a r o u s e d w h ic h i s q u i t e

u n n e c e s s a r y . " '

CANBERRA, ACT 14 F e b r u a r y , 1979

7 9 /1 4