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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4518

Mr JAMES (Hunter) (2:16 AM) - 1 heartily congratulate the honourable member for Bradfield (Mr Turner) on what he has said. Honourable members know that I am a member of the Joint Committee on Public Works which has visited the Northern Territory on at least 5 or 6 occasions this year under the chairmanship of the honourable member for Wakefield (Mr Kelly). I can assure this Parliament that what the honourable member for Bradfield said about the liquor store near Oenpelli is correct. I had the privilage of talking to the manager of the liquor store near Oenpelli not very long ago and what he told me without hesitation confirms that the facts quoted by the honourable member for Bradfield from the newspaper articles are true. Our country would be richer if there were more speeches of the type made by the honourable member for Bradfield regarding the peoples of the Northern Territory and particularly the Aborigines It is true that the Aborigines trudge for days after they get their social service cheques. I am not trying to denigrate the administration of Aboriginal affairs. This is a problem with which all of us should be concerned. Without mentioning socialism or nationalism, if ever there was an industry that needed Government control to remove the profit motive it is the liquor industry in the Northern Territory, so that no more would a person selling intoxicating liquor be able to enrich himself through the intoxication of Aborigines. It would be to the credit of this Government if it were to do something in that regard. The Public Works Committee will be visiting the Oenpelli Mission next week in its investigation of the beef roads project.

What the honourable member for Bradfield has said is true and I hope the Parliament and the Minister for the Environment, Aborigines and the Arts (Mr Howson) will read what he said and do something about the intoxication of Aborigines and the profit motive behind the sale of liquor to Aborigines. The Marys, wives or gins and their children remain outside the liquor store while the men in ignorance exhaust the social service payments that the Government makes to them. I will not detain the Parliament any longer and I conclude by again congratulating the honourable member for Bradfield for bringing this matter forward.

Mr TURNER - I seek leave to lay on the table the transcript of evidence to which I referred earlier.

Mr SPEAKER -Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

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