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Wednesday, 27 February 1985
Page: 317


Mr SHIPTON(5.49) —I assume, though the Government has not said so, that the reason for the establishment of the Select Committee on Aboriginal Education is to complete the unfinished inquiry into Aboriginal education which was carried out by the former Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs.


Mr Young —I did say it at the start.


Mr SHIPTON —I apologise to the Minister and withdraw my statement, and accept that it is to be established to complete the reference.


Mr Young —It is to complete the reference which has been going for two parliaments.


Mr SHIPTON —As the Minister says, it is to complete the reference which has been going for two parliaments. It is unfortunate that it has been going for two parliaments. In the Thirty-second Parliament evidence was taken and the Committee travelled around Australia. I think it is important that committees be able to complete their work and that they not be diverted from their main task of undertaking important inquiries, such as one of this nature, by other matters. That is why it is very important that a Minister, in deciding what he refers to committees, consider those matters very carefully. As I said earlier today, that is why I think it is much better that the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs be able to seek its own terms of reference and that they be general. That would be much better. If the other Committee had had a general reference, perhaps we may not have needed to set up this special Committee. However, I look forward to serving on this Committee. I hope that it can take into account the work of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs in the thirty-second and thirty-third parliaments and will complete its work quickly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.