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Wednesday, 26 April 1972
Page: 1358

Senator O'BYRNE asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Aborigines andthe Arts, upon notice:

(1)   Did Professor S tanner, a senior member of the Council of Aboriginal Affairs, tell the Senate Standing Committee on Social Environment on 25th February 1972 of the vital place held by land in Aboriginal tradition and culture saying one cannot exaggerate the importance, intimacy and closeness of this tie between the Aboriginal communities and their land'; if so, is the Minister in conflict with him?

(2)   How can Professor Stanner's statement be reconciled with that of the Minister, who said that the traditional Aboriginal relationship of land does not fit in with the Australian system of freehold land?

(3)   Is Professor Stanner's view a correct one and the Minister's wrong, or is this a further attempt by the Government to confuse the issue of land rights for Aborigines and to camouflage the Government's decision not to give them those land rights?

Senator GREENWOOD - The Minister for the Environment, Aborigines and the Arts has provided the following reply to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   Professor Stanner stated: 'One simply cannot exaggerate the importance and the intimacy of the tie between the local territorial group and its land'. His statement is not in conflict with my Ministerial Statement of 23rd February.

(2)   and (3) See answer to (1).

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