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Establishment of the Australian Aboriginal development commission and the Aboriginal entitlement capital account



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PRESS FOR THE PRESS FOR THE PRESS

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

ESTABLISHMENT OF T H E .AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION AND THE ABORIGINAL ENTITLEMENT CAPITAL ACCOUNT

,The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Senator Fred Chaney, announced today that thfe Government would introduce new legislation latei in the current Budget Sittings to establish an Australian Aboriginal Development Commission.

The legislation would also establish an Aboriginal Entitlement Capital Account which would be administered by the Commission.

. The legislation would give effect to the commitment

in the 1975 Liberal and National Country Parties' policy statement which recognises the problems flowing from past dispossession and dispersal of the Aboriginal people and < that they are entitled to receive additional funds by reason of their past dispossession and dispersal.

The funds in the Capital Account, in accordance with the Government's policy statement, will be invested for the benefit of the Aboriginal people.

The Minister recalled the announcement ma.de by his predecessor the Honourable Ian Viner, on 26 October 1978, that the Government had agreed to the development of a proposal to include under one statutory authority the present functions of the Aboriginal Land Fund Commission,

the Aboriginal Loans Commission and the Enterprises program administered by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.

The proposed legislation would provide for these Government functions to be handled in future by an Aboriginal- controlled Commission. The Minister said that although the legislation would be introduced in the 1979 Budget Sittings it would not be debated until next y ear, to give an opportunity

for public comment and discussion during the summer Parliamentary recess.

A similar process was followed in relation to the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act in 1976.

Senator Chaney said the Government's intention was that submissions .from interested Aboriginal organisations and individuals and from other bodies, including State Governments, should be considered before the Bill was

debated during the 1980 Autumn Sittings.

In the course of developing this proposal, the Minister consulted with the Council for Aboriginal Development and the National Aboriginal Conference. There have also been consultations with other Aboriginal organisations and individuals throughout Australia and further consultations are planned.

Canberra A.C.T. 2 September 1979

EMBARGO 6 p.m. 7 9/6 0