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Monday, 22 November 1993
Page: 3382


Senator BOSWELL (Leader of the National Party of Australia) (9.40 p.m.) —Senators Collins cannot blame me for bringing this issue forward when his colleague the Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs (Mr Tickner), possibly with a rush of blood to the head when he got up there on those beautiful islands, told the Islanders that self-government was a prospect by the year 2001. I would like Senator Collins to point out to Mr Tickner that this has raised expectations amongst the Islanders, who have had this vision of self-government by the year 2001 for as long as I have been going up there.

  These people have had their expectations raised, only to have them dashed by Senator Collins tonight and also by the Premier of Queensland when he said, `We have given no support or encouragement whatsoever for the self-government proposal. I believe it is fraught with difficulties'. I just want to point out to Senator Collins, as someone in this parliament who is acknowledged as an expert on Aboriginals, that he should take a strong message to Mr Tickner not to put his foot in his mouth before he engages his brain.