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Thursday, 17 August 1972
Page: 333

Mr FOSTER (STURT, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I direct my question to the Prime Minister who no doubt will be aware of the publicity given to the purchase of Everard Park in South Australia and the wide discrepancy in figures which have been quoted. In view of the Government's recent blunder in the purchase of Everard Park and in view of his policy statement on Aboriginal land rights, will the Prime Minister give an undertaking to the Parliament that all documents and details of financial transactions relating to the purchase of Everard Park will be tabled in this House for consideration and debate? Will the Prime Minister, in view of his Government's agreement to purchase the property from Byron MacLachlan, disclose the price paid by that person and the amount involved in the Government's purchase from Mr MacLachlan? Finally, will the Prime Minister lay down firm guidelines for future acquisition of land for Aborigines in accordance with the statement he made on Australia Day this year?

Mr McMAHON - Some days ago Mr MacLachlan, who I believe had made arrangements to purchase the property, did contact me and say that he was prepared to permit the property to be sold to Mie Commonwealth at cost. Immediately this matter was placed in the hands of the Crown law authorities and an officer of the Department of the Interior. It is my understanding that until this morning negotiations had not been completed but that they are at a delicate stage. Consequently I am not in a position to make any further statement about this matter. I can assure the honourable gentleman that officials are conducting these negotiations and that when they have given me a report I in my turn will make a full report to the House.

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