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Thursday, 28 September 1972
Page: 1364


Senator KEEFFE asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Aborigines and the Arts, upon notice:

(1)   Is the Minister aware that amendments earlier this year to Acts dealing with Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders purported to give greater authority to Aboriginal Councils operating on reserves and missions in Queensland.

(2)   Will the Minister conduct an urgent investigation to ascertain if some of these powers have been withdrawn since the return of the Government in Queensland on 27th May 1972.

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

Information has been provided by the Queensland Department of Aboriginal and Island Affairs.

(1)   The 'Aborigines Act 1971' and the 'Torres Strait Islanders Act 1971' were introduced to the Queensland Parliament in December 1971 , were assented to on 16 December and presently await proclamation. The new statutes, which repeal the

Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders Affairs Act 1965-67', will give added powers to an Aboriginal or Islander Council, particularly where access to reserve areas is concerned. They will also give legal status to elected Aboriginal or Islander Advisory groups.

(2)   No powers have been withdrawn since 27th May 1972.







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