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Wednesday, 15 September 1971
Page: 1391

Mr Whitlam asked the Minister for the Environment, Aborigines and the Arts, upon notice:

(1)   What were the names and portfolios of the Ministers who attended the ministerial conference of the Aboriginal Affairs Council in Cairns on 23 rd April 1971.

(2)   What requests or suggestions were made at the conference for legislative or administrative action by (a) the Commonwealth, (b) the Territories and (c) the States.

(3)   Was International Labour Organisation Convention No. 107 - Indigenous and Tribal Populations, 1957 considered at the conference; if so, with what result.

(4)   Was the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of alt forms of Racial Discrimination considered at the conference; if so, with what result.

Mr Howson - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The Honourable W. C. Wentworth, Com monwealth Minister-in-Charge of Aboriginal Affairs; the Honourable R. J. Hunt, Minister for the Interior; the Honourable J. L. Waddy, Minister for Child Welfare and Social Welfare, New South Wales; the Honourable E. R. Meagher. Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Victoria; the Honourable N. T. E. Hewitt, Minister for Conservation, Marine and Aboriginal Affairs, Queensland; the Honourable L. J. King, Minister for Social Welfare and Aboriginal Affairs, South Australia; the Honourable W. F. Willesee, Minister for Community Welfare, Western Australia; and the Hon ourabls D. F. Clark, Minister for Housing, Industrial Development and Sea Fisheries, Tasmania.

(2)   The proceedings of the ministerial conferences of the Australian Aboriginal Affairs Council are treated as confidential. The meeting of the Council at Cairns on 23rd April 1971, like previous conferences, provided an occasion for the exchange of information and opinions on recent and projected developments and on current problems and needs in the field of Aboriginal affairs.

Ministers discussed a range of matters including the general organisation of the administration of Aboriginal affairs; arrangements for consultation of Aboriginal opinion; recent legislative and administrative action in relation to Aboriginal reserves; problems and needs in the fields of health, housing, education and employment; and progress in combating discrimination. The Council, however, made no specific suggestions or recommendations.

(3)   No.

(4)   No.

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