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Thursday, 31 August 1989
Page: 754

Senator BOSWELL(10.06) —I would like to support the amendment moved by my colleague, Senator Peter Baume. We have heard much over the past six or eight months about self-management and bringing the Aboriginals into a self-management plan. I feel that the Bill as it now stands, without our amendment, really deprives Aboriginal communities of that right to manage their own corporate plan, the right to lay down their particular needs as an Aboriginal community and the ability to make their business decisions.

If we are-to use a colloquialism-fair dinkum about self-management, we have to let these Aboriginal departments and commissions have their own way and make their own plans. Sure, there are going to be mistakes made. The only reasons mistakes will never be made will be if people are never allowed the opportunity to make decisions. We all have to accept that in bringing a minority group to self-management there are going to be mistakes made. I think we all have to be patient and say, `Yes, that is on the cards and we have to accept that'. But to take people's rights away and say, `You really have not got the ability. You really have not got the experience. You really need someone in the Minister's office to tell you what to do', is really not self-management at all, and I hope Senator Tate can accept this amendment.

I know he realises that there have been mistakes made in the ADC and that that is going to happen again. Next year there will probably be a few less mistakes than there were the year before that and--

Senator Stone —Unfortunately, under Mr Hand's administration and this Government that does not really seem to be the case.

Senator BOSWELL —I say to Senator Stone that we have to be a little patient with these Aboriginal people. They are going to make--

Senator Stone —I am quite patient with them. I am a bit impatient with Minister Hand, though.

Senator BOSWELL —I do implore Senator Tate to accept this amendment because, really if we try to stifle Aboriginal self-determination and self-management at this stage we are going to put the Aboriginal communities into reverse.