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Tuesday, 30 April 1968

Mr KATTER (Kennedy) - I feel I should not let this occasion pass without adding my few comments on what I believe to be a momentous step not only for the Northern Territory but for Northern Australia generally. I represent an electorate which borders on the Northern Territory and the two electorates have very much in common. I believe the people of my constituency will be almost as jubilant as the people of the Northern Territory at the extension of full voting rights to the member for the Northern Territory. I would like to pay a particular tribute to the present member for the Northern Territory (Mr Calder). Through actually living in the Territory he has gained a profound knowledge of the conditions of the Aboriginals there. It was deplorable tonight to hear him completely and utterly misquoted - to hear a statement to the effect that he had said that responsibility for the Aboriginal people of the Northern Territory was not of national importance. He made no such statement at any stage, and the allegation that he had done so was a complete fabrication. I stress his profound knowledge and understanding of the Aboriginal people and his realistic approach to their problems. I also take the opportunity to congratulate the people of the Northern Territory on the fine choice they made in electing this man and on their obvious determination to retain him as their representative.

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