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Tuesday, 28 February 1984
Page: 88

(Question No. 579)

Senator Kilgariff asked the Minister representing the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, upon notice, on 8 December 1983:

(1) Has the attention of the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs been drawn to an article published in the Northern Territory's Centralian Advocate on 23 November 1983, which states that Aboriginal women were 'talked into' participating in the recent women's protest at Pine Gap.

(2) Has the Government taken any action as a result of the claims made by an Aranda woman, Betty Pearce; if so, what action has been taken and what were the results; if not, does the Government have any intention of reviewing this situation.

Senator Ryan —The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Yes.

(2) My Department has investigated the claims made by Ms Betty Pearce and I am informed that it is possible that some Aboriginal women who participated in the demonstration at Pine Gap may have been misled in respect of the purpose of their trip to Alice Springs. I am told, further, that they quickly ceased their involvement in the demonstration when they were advised by local Aboriginals that Pine Gap was close to an Aboriginal men's sacred site.