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Tuesday, 13 March 1973
Page: 460

Mr KERIN (MACARTHUR, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs prepared to release the hitherto secret

Scott Report on Aboriginal conditions on the South Coast of New South Wales? If he is, could he inform the House what infant mortality rate the report showed and whether he would be prepared to ask for another inquiry to check the accuracy of the figures?

Mr BRYANT (WILLS, VICTORIA) (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs) - In accordance with Government policy all reports of this nature will be issued. I have the report before me and I am studying it to ensure thatno persons are named in it in such a way that they would be damaged by the issue of the report. In my personal view this is an attitude that one would expect to be adopted. The Scott report was commissioned in 1969 and it showed a high infant mortality rate and a high death rate among Aboriginal children under 4 years of age. It was only a small statistical sample, but the report does indicate a desperate situation as far as health is concerned. My Department and the Department of Health are examining the matter to see what further steps should be taken. We believe that there has been an improvement in the situation. We will take steps to find out the exact position. I will arrange for the report made available so that honourable members may peruse it. It will be a matter for Mr Speaker whether the forms of the House, the Library or some other methods are used for this purpose.I do not believe a report of this nature warrants the expense of printing in large numbers. It will be available to the honourable member immediately after question time if he wishes to have a look at it.

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