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Tuesday, 28 August 1973
Page: 499

Mr Hunt asked the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, .upon notice:

(1)   How many leases of land to Aborigines and Aboriginal groups were approved by the Minister for the Interior in the McMahon Government.

(2)   Will he supply details of each lease granted to Aborigines, including the pastoral stations.

(3)   Are there Aboriginal members on the Land Board appointed to hear applications from Aborigines

(4)   What criteria did the previous Government use to determine the successful applicants for leases of land in the Northern Territory.

(5)   Did the lease conditions and land laws applying to Aborigines differ from those applying to Australians generally.

(6)   Has the Government issued an instruction stopping all further action on the land lease approvals to Aborigines made by the former Minister for the Interior.

Mr Bryant - The Department of the Northern Territory has been consulted on the question and the reply is:

(1)   The Minister for the Interior in the McMahon Government approved that 110 leases of land be granted to Aboriginals and Aboriginal groups. Fortyone approvals were processed to the stage where applicants accepted lease offers.

(2)   (a) Leases approved during the McMahon Government:

(3)   Yes; two Aboriginals were appointed to the Land Board for each hearing of an application from an Aboriginal or Aboriginal group. The Aboriginal appointees were selected from the community most closely associated with the land under application.

(4)   The criteria applied to determine successful applicants for leases of land in the Northern Territory varied with the type of lease sought. Where a lease was sought on a reserve by an Aboriginal applicant, the criteria adopted were:

(a)   applicants association with the area;

(b)   extent to which the land was to be used;

(c)   applicants experience in handling development of the type proposed;

(d)   availability of finance;

(e)   method of development; and

(f)   wishes expressed by, the Aboriginals.

(5)   In the case of leases on reserves, yes.

(6)   The Government has indicated that the ownership of land on Aboriginal reserves shall be vested in the Aboriginals. It is the primary task of the Aboriginal Land Rights Commission, appointed by the Government, to recommend on the manner in which this policy is to be implemented. The decision to stop action on the granting of all leases on reserves, announced by the Deputy Prime Minister on 7 December 1972, was taken in order to avoid further complicating the land tenure situation on reserves pending the outcome of the enquiries of the Aboriginal Land Rights Commission.

Department of Aboriginal Affairs: Position of Mr EL Giese (Question No. 318) Mr Calder asked the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, upon notice:

(1)   What work is Mr Harry Giese, the former Assistant Administrator (Welfare), engaged in.

(2)   Are his duties appropriate to his classification as a level 2 officer in the Public Service.

(3)   If not, is he being victimised because, during previous administrations, he disagreed with Dr Coombs or other members of the Council for Aboriginal Affairs.

(4)   Is is suggested that Mr Giese failed to implement the policies of previous governments.

(5)   Has a comparative examination been made of (a) Mr Giese's recommendations, during those previous administrations, to the Northern Territory Administration in respect of money, staff and works for Aboriginal Affairs, (b) the proposals put forward by the Administration in respect of those recommendations and (c) the budgetary appropriations and staffing provisions arising from these recommendations.

(6)   Has Mr Giese been given the opportunity to rebut any insinuations against him in accordance with the requirements of natural justice.

Mr Bryant - The answer is:

(1)   Special projects as allocated by the Secretary, Department of Aboriginal Affairs.

(2)   Yes.

(3)   No.

(4)   No.

(5)   No.

(6)   As no insinuations have been made against Mr Giese the matter does not arise.

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