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Thursday, 24 October 1974
Page: 1932

Senator KEEFFE (QUEENSLAND) - Is the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs aware that the Premier of Queensland and the Department of Aboriginal and Island Affairs are using Australian Government funds, made available to that State for housing, to exploit Aborigines and Islanders? Is the Minister aware that homes bought with Commonwealth funds in recent years for $10,000 to $12,000 are now available for sale to Aborigines at current market values, which indicates that the Queensland Government is making a profit of up to 100 per cent? Will the Minister take all possible action to have this blatant profiteering and shameless exploitation of black people brought to an end as soon as possible?

Senator CAVANAGH - It is surprising to know that in Queensland Aboriginal housing is being sold to Aboriginal people. The position, as we discovered during the Estimates Committee meeting, is that Queensland still has money for Aboriginal housing from previous years which has not been expended. What Senator Keeffe is saying now justifies the attitude of this Government which in the future will direct more housing finance through Aboriginal organisations rather than through the State Government. The conditions for Aboriginal housing are that Aborigines must live in the houses and if a sale is effected, whether it is to an Aboriginal or otherwise, another house must be made available out of the grant for the purpose of housing an Aboriginal. I do not know the original cost of any house or the price at which it may be sold today. I shall have an investigation made of the statement made by Senator Keeffe. If there is thought to be any exploitation of Aborigines in purchases of property, I shall try to take it up with the Queensland Minister, although there are some difficulties in taking anything up with the Queensland Minister. However, in future our funding to Queensland will stipulate that such exploitation must not continue.

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