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Wednesday, 29 April 1987
Page: 1987

Senator WALSH —Senator Dame Margaret Guilfoyle asked me on 19 March a question regarding the acquisition of cattle properties for Aborigines in the Kimberley region of Western Australia by the Exim Corporation. I seek leave to incorporate some further information in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The additional information read as follows-

In June 1985, the Commonwealth provided a $6 million grant to the Western Australian Government for the purpose of assisting in the purchase of `Emanuel' pastoral leases located in the Fitzroy River area of the Kimberleys. This purchase is part of that Government's plan to restructure the pastoral industry in that region and was undertaken by a subsidiary of the Western Australian Government's EXIM Corporation.

The Commonwealth's grant was made conditional upon the Western Australian Government providing Aboriginal interests in the Fitzroy River area with viable pastoral units equivalent to 25 per cent of the `Emanuel' leases.

The Western Australian Government has indicated that the pastoral leases acquired require development work before they can be distributed and that this has caused delay in the re-allocation. I have been informed that delays are also attributable to legal proceedings over the forfeiture of other leases which are seen as an integral part of the restructuring process. Nevertheless, the Commonwealth is actively pursuing finalisation of this matter with the Western Australian Government.

Those aspects of the Senator's question which refer to the financial affairs of the EXIM Corporation are matters that should be addressed to the Western Australian Government.