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Tuesday, 23 August 1983
Page: 71

Question No. 15

Mr O'Keefe asked the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, upon notice, on 3 May 1983:

(1) How many Aboriginals are there in (a) Australia and (b) each State.

(2) How many of these Aboriginals are (a) full blood and (b) half caste.

Mr Holding —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) (a) and (b):

I have been informed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics that the following question was asked in the 1981 Census:

'Is the person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island origin?

For persons of mixed origin, indicate the one to which they consider themselves to belong.'

The following results were obtained:

Torres Strait Aboriginals Islanders Total

NSW 33,414 1,953 35,367 Vic. 5,283 774 6,057 Qld 33,966 10,732 44,698 SA 9, 476 349 9,825 WA 30,749 602 31,351 Tas. 2,334 354 2,688 NT 28,680 408 29,088 ACT 763 60 823 Australia 144,665 15,232 159,897

552 281 persons (3.8 per cent of the total population) did not answer the question.

(2) (a) and (b): A census question relating to each person's race has been included in every Australian census since Federation. Since 1966, however, questions have not been asked which require people to indicate a mix of racial origin. Thus, since then, the questions have sought people's identification of the race to which they belong.