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Thursday, 7 October 1971
Page: 2127

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

(1)   ls it a fact, as reported in The Australian of 30th July 1971, that he hopes to be able to announce soon the Government's attitude on Aboriginal land rights.

(2)   If so, what is the Government's attitude on Aboriginal land rights.

(3)   When will the Yirrkala Village Council and the Djapu Tribe of Aborigines be given answers to their demand for land rights made to the Prime Minister on 6th May 1971.

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

(1)   Yes.

(2)   and (3) As stated by the Prime Minister on 6th May, a Ministerial Committee on Aboriginal affairs has been set up to consider among other matters, whether changes in or developments of policy are desirable in relation to land for the use of Aborigines in the Northern Territory. The requests submitted to the Prime Minister by representatives of the Yirrkala community have also been referred to that Committee. The Committee met for the first time on 3rd August. The issues before it aTe important and complex and it is not possible to say when decisions will be made.

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