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Tuesday, 27 November 1973
Page: 2112

Senator WEBSTER asked the AttorneyGeneral, upon notice:

Do any laws of the Commonwealth, in any way, contain elements of racial discrimination? If so, which laws.

Senator MURPHY -The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

The Removal of Prisoners (Territories) Act excludes from the category of persons who may be removed under the Act from a Territory to undergo imprisonment in a State or another

Territory, persons who are 'aboriginal natives' of that Territory. It does therefore contain an element of differentiation on the basis of ethnic origin.

The Act applies to all Territories, including Papua New Guinea. It is under review in consultation with the Papua New Guinea Government, so far as it applies to Papua New Guinea. With regard to its operation in relation to the Northern Territory, I have taken up with my colleague, the Minister for the Northern Territory, who is responsible for the administration of the Act in relation to that Territory, the matter of reviewing the whole operation of the Act.

I am not aware of any other laws of the Commonwealth which contain elements of racial discrimination.

I should add that, as is referred to in the various international convenants, there are laws, which confer some benefit or advantage on, for example, Aborigines or Torres Strait Islanders under the laws of the Commonwealth. These are not referred to as being in the category of racially discriminatory laws.

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