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Thursday, 22 November 1973
Page: 2098

Senator Little asked the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, upon notice:

(1)   Will the Minister inform the Senate whether Miss Nola Garanamba 's natural father did, in fact, see his daughter in Darwin; if so, did a Government Department pay his expenses from Maningrida to Darwin for the purpose of collecting his daughter.

(2)   Was a Government Department, or officer, responsible for the air ticket necessary to return Miss Garanamba to Maningrida.

Senator Cavanagh - The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1)   Nola Garanamba saw her father in Darwin on September 8, the day she left Darwin. It is not known whether she had had other meetings with him prior to that date. She had met her brother on previous occasions. My Department paid Mr Garanamba 's fare to Darwin so that he could seek legal advice in relation to Nola's custody, as he had for some time been expressing a strong desire that Nola be returned to the custody of her natural parents.

(2)   A Government Department was not responsible for the air ticket for Nola's return to Maningrida. By the statement of the President of the Northern Australian Aboriginal Legal Aid Service, Mr Bill Ryan, he was responsible for arranging the charter from Legal Service funds. My predecessor, Mr Bryant, expressed the view that this was an improper use of funds and I understand that the Council of the Aboriginal Legal Service is investigating the matter.

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