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Tuesday, 10 December 1974
Page: 3281

Senator RAE (Tasmania) - I reiterate briefly, notwithstanding what the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs (Senator Cavanagh) has said in his second reading speech, that the Opposition believes that the people who are directly involved- the people who are the members of the communities in the reserve areas in Queensland- do not wish to have the law as proposed in clauses 6 and 7 of this Bill imposed upon them. During the debate last week on the motion for the second reading of the Bill we referred to the evidence which clearly indicates that that is the desire of those people. We believe that we will be responding to their wishes by opposing these 2 clauses. We will not oppose the remainder of the Bill.

We endeavoured last week to obtain agreement from the Government to further consideration of the Bill being deferred until 1 March next year so that a poll could be taken of the people residing in those communities to ascertain for sure their views. The Government opposed that proposal, which we thought was a democratic proposal. In the light of the Government's opposition to that we have been left with only one course of action, that is, to act in the way in which we have been requested to act by the Queensland Aboriginal Advisory Council and by the chairman of most of the Aboriginal councils in the various communities, and oppose the inclusion in the Bill of clauses 6 and 7 which relate to the rights of entry into and residence on reserves in Queensland. The people themselves and their councils wish to retain certain restrictions and do not wish this Bill to go ahead with the inclusion of those 2 provisions. Therefore the Opposition will oppose the inclusion in the Bill of clauses 6 and 7.

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