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Wednesday, 5 December 1973
Page: 4292

Mr WENTWORTH (Mackellar) - I have not had an opportunity to read these reports. I therefore make no comment at all upon them. The turtle project was started, as an experimental project only, when I was the Ministerincharge of Aboriginal Affairs. Ibelieve at the moment that it is a sound project. I shall read the. reports presented today and perhaps modify my views in the light of them. The only point I want to make is that in this discussion the main consideration is the interests of the Torres Strait Islanders who have committed themselves to this project on the advice and encouragement of the Government. I hope that any decision that is made will have regard particularly to the interests and morale of the Torres Strait Islanders who have cooperated, I think, in circumstances of great difficulty, in the development of this project. I agree that it seems at first glance that things have not gone right as it has expanded into a commercial project. As an experimental project it was fully justified and, as far as I know at present, it should be continued as such. I shall read the reports with the very greatest of interest.

Mr Gorton - Mr Deputy Speaker, I seek leave to make a statement.

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

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