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Thursday, 28 August 1969

Senator DAVIDSON (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister-in-Charge of Aboriginal Affairs. I ask: Has the Minister received a copy of a resolution of an Adelaide conference calling on the Commonwealth and State governments to take immediate action to prevent further despoliation of Aboriginal relic and culture sites? Can the Minister indicate the steps that are being taken to protect what the resolution describes as the sacred sites and areas where there are works of art?

Senator Dame ANNABELLE RANKIN - I believe that a conference was held recently in Adelaide. The resolution has not as yet been received by my colleague the Minister-in-Charge of Aboriginal Affairs. The honourable senator also asked what is being done to protect sacred native sites. I would like to inform him that in the Northern Territory these sites are protected under the Native Historical Objects and Areas Preservation Ordinance. In regard to the other States, the Minister is constantly in touch with his ministerial colleagues who are concerned with Aboriginal affairs. Some States are understood to be considering legislation to provide, adequate protection for such sites. I think that all of the statements made by the Minister on the subject of Aboriginal affairs show that he has a very keen personal interest in the matter.

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