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Wednesday, 16 August 1989
Page: 207

(Question No. 761)

Senator Crichton-Browne asked the Minister representing the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, upon notice, on 28 February 1989:

(1) What is the current position of the Mogumber and Wandering Aboriginal Missions in Western Australia.

(2) What funding is provided to each Mission by the Commonwealth.

(3) Will the Minister provide any or all audit reports or financial statements which have been conducted into, or provided in relation to, the operation of each Mission over the past 5 years; if not, what are the financial details of each Mission for the past 5 years.

(4) In relation to the Wandering Mission, what debts, if any, are outstanding.

(5) In relation to the Mogumber Mission, was it the case that, when handed over to the Aborigines, it was intended that farming operations would be conducted; if so, are farming operations actually being conducted.

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

(1) Neither Mogumber nor Wandering have operated as missions for many years. No financial assistance has been provided to Mogumber by either the Aboriginal Development Commission (ADC) or the Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA) in recent years. Consequently, the current financial position is unknown. The property is being developed as a farm and there is no resident ``community'' as such.

As with Mogumber, there is no resident ``community'' at Wandering, which is operated as a farm and training centre by the Southern Aboriginal Corporation (SAC). The property has been under SAC administration since 1 July 1986.

(2) For Wandering the following information is provided in respect to current funding (1988-89) within the Aboriginal Affairs portfolio:

The Department of Aboriginal Affairs-Nil

Aboriginal Development Commission-$80,000

(3) Neither the ADC nor DAA have any audit reports for Mogumber, nor are they required to.

Audited reports in respect of Wandering are available and I will provide the honourable senator with copies.

This is done with the concurrence of the SAC Chairperson who has asked that it be noted that some accounting difficulties were encountered due to technical inadequacies while converting to a computerised accounting system in 1986-87 and inadequate human resources but that these matters have now been resolved.

(4) Officers of DAA are not aware of any outstanding debts.

(5) The Mogumber land is owned and operated by the WA Aboriginal Lands Trust which has advised that it was intended to operate the former Mission as a farm and this is being done.